Palo Alto mobile home park may close, forcing residents into expensive housing market

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KTVU) - Residents of Palo Alto's only mobile home park are worried they're about to be thrown into a housing market they can't begin to afford.

The owner of Buena Vista Park wants to close. On Monday and Tuesday night, the Palo Alto city council has been hearing from residents and attorneys for both sides.

"I don't want to lose my home because I've been living here all my life," explained 8-year old Andre Bracamontes. "I live close to my grandma and my aunt who take care of me."

Bracamontes' mother, Erika Escalante, has lived at Buena Vista Park most of her life, too. "I graduated from Gunn (High School) and went on to college," Escalante said. "Living here made that possible."

That's because it's one of the most affordable places to live in Palo Alto, where condominiums sell for well over $1 million dollars. "The rents are way too expensive! I think this is the most affordable you can find in Palo Alto," Escalante explained.

She said there is something else she can't put a price tag on; a Palo Alto education. "So my son can grow up where I did and go to the schools I did, you know, and have the same opportunities."

The property owner is offering mobile home owners a buyout, but Excalante says the $23,000 offered to her won't let her move to a comparable place in a comparable city.

"Maybe we'd be homeless or something," her son worried. "Because it's really hard to find houses here, 'cause the houses are really expensive to buy and really hard to find."

"That sucks," said Don Lewis, who moved to Buena Vista Park in 1984. "I don't know where I'm gonna go, and you can't buy," Lewis said laughing. "You can't move into another mobile home without going all the way down the hill and back."

The "hill" he referred to is Morgan Hill. "Man," said Lewis, "I don't feel like going that far out of the way. No. No. No!"

The Palo Alto City Council has to weigh whether the Buena Vista Park owner's buyout offer is adequate. The issue is scheduled on the agenda again on May 4th.