Community bands together to save Palo Alto mobile home park

Lilian Kim Image
ByLilian Kim KGO logo
Monday, March 9, 2015
mobile home

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- The lack of affordable housing in Silicon Valley took center stage at Palo Alto City Hall Monday night.

Hundreds of people gathered to support residents of a mobile home park in danger of closing. The Buena Vista Mobile Home Park is located on Los Robles Avenue off El Camino Real. It is the only mobile home park in the area.

Residents of the mobile home park were touched that so many people came here to support them. They're fighting for their homes and their neighbors are fighting alongside them.

"They know who we are and they want us to stay in Palo Alto," said Saul Bracamontes.

The 400 people who live at the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park are facing eviction. The property owner plans to sell and residents say if they get kicked out, they'd barely be able to survive.

Melody Cheney says the cheapest apartment she's been able to find is a one-bedroom in Sunnyvale for $1,7000 a month.

"If I wanted to starve, or if I wanted to start going to food banks or something, I might be able to do $1,700," Cheney said.

Residents and their supporters packed the Palo Alto City Council chambers urging them for their support.

The county has already set aside $8 million to help save the mobile home park and the city council may do the same.

"Could be a purchase, could be a lease, could be a nonprofit. I think we don't know what the final answer is frankly for the Buena Vista," Joe Simitian, Santa Clara County Supervisor, said.

But it's enough to give Buena Vista residents and their neighbors hope.

"The community can't be simply all one type of housing," Rick Kaplowitz said. "That's not what we are in this country. That's not what we want to be in this town."

"The stronger we are as a community is the diverser we are as a community, so it's that diversity that propels us to be here today," said Rabbi Jonathan Prosnit of Congregation Beth Am.

It's a community coming together to help those who need it most.