SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — As San Jose’s real estate market stays hot, more mobile home park owners are being pressured to sell to developers. Mayor Sam Liccardo is proposing a six-month moratorium on such conversions.
Mike and Laura Burns sunk their savings into their mobile home at Winchester Ranch, one of the few housing options they could afford in pricey Silicon Valley. But their retirement plans are crashing down after the park owners announced they plan to close in two years, to make way for new high priced properties.READ MORE: Despite Short-Term Drop in Vaccine Supply, State Officials Predict Full Reopening by Summer
“We have no place else to go. If they close this park, we literally have no place within the financial capabilities of any of us to go in the San Jose area,” Mike Burns told KPIX 5.
San Jose has 59 mobile home parks, the most of any city in California. But with real estate values skyrocketing, there’s pressure on park owners to sell out to developers.
Santa Clara County has lost nine mobile home parks in the last decade, the most in the Bay Area.READ MORE: San Francisco Nightlife Rebounds as Pandemic Restrictions Ease
“It’s not about the people, it’s not about our lives, it’s not about us feeling safe in our homes,” said Gail Osmer, who owns a mobile home. “The bottom line for mobile home park owners is money.”
Mayor Sam Liccardo wants to push the pause button. “I think it’s good to let everyone take a breath and hopefully come up with a balanced policy,” the mayor told KPIX 5.
Liccardo is proposing a six-month moratorium on mobile home park conversions in San Jose, to fix an outdated ordinance that laid out rules for how they can close.
“Right now we’ve got 35,000 residents in this city who live in mobile home parks who are all very concerned about whether or not they are going to have a home,” Liccardo said.MORE NEWS: U.S. Supreme Court Orders California to Lift Pandemic Restrictions on Home Worship
State law prohibits the city from stepping in the way of property owners who want to sell. But the moratorium would give the city and residents the one thing they need to solve a complex housing problem: time.