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Trailer Park In Heart Of Silicon Valley Becomes A Lightning Rod In Housing Affordability Battle


The Buena Vista Mobile Home Park represents a rare oasis of low-income housing in Silicon Valley. The City of Palo Alto and Santa Clara County want to buy the property for $29M and are willing to use eminent domain to prevent the Jisser family from closing the park and selling the land to developers.

The city and the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara are making a bid for the 117-unit park, reports the Wall Street Journal. Officials hope to convince the Jissers to sell to the government and will resort to eminent domain to prevent the loss of affordable housing, said housing authority executive director Katherine Harsasz. Controversy around the sale of the park and relocation of residents has been the subject of lawsuits.

Joe Jisser said his family has no intention of selling and previously rejected a $39M bid from the county and city. The owners applied to close the park in 2012 with the hopes of selling the 4.5 acres for market-rate development. The sale was expected to fetch as much as $55M. City and county officials have resisted the closure since it would displace 400 low-income families. [WSJ]