PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 27, 2019
Contact: Gabby Areas, Communications Specialist | firstname.lastname@example.org
Settlement clears way for new homes near Santana Row - The Mercury News
San Jose seniors facing displacement reach agreement to stay housed - San Jose Spotlight
SAN JOSE, CA — A landmark agreement regarding the closure of Winchester Ranch Mobile Home Park has been reached by the Winchester Ranch Senior Homeowners Association (WRSHOA), represented by the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, and Pulte Homes, the future developer of the Park.
The agreement, which was unanimously approved by the residents, states that current Park residents can move into on-site replacement housing at the same rental rate and retain protections upheld by Mobilehome Residency Law, such as rent increase limits.
“This agreement is an example of how to achieve equitable development that doesn’t displace people already living in that community,” said Nadia Aziz, Directing Attorney with the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley.
San Jose has 59 mobilehome parks, the most in California, with 11,000 homes and 35,000 residents. This is the first conversion of a mobilehome park to residential development, which will include nearly 700 units, in San Jose. Mobilehome parks are susceptible to development pressure because residents own their home, but pay rent for the land it sits on, which can leave residents with minimal options when owners want to sell the land.
“I’m grateful to partners like the Law Foundation for their collaborative efforts to reach an agreement that protects the residents of Winchester Ranch Mobile Home Park, while also allowing development of additional housing amid our city’s housing crisis,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo.
"Approval of this agreement is an important milestone and we are pleased that this community is now one step closer to beginning its development," said Dan Carroll, Pulte Group's Vice President of Land Acquisition. "By working in a collaborative process with the Board and the Residents of Winchester Ranch, we create a win-win that allows us to bring much needed new housing to the City of San Jose, while ensuring current Residents are able to remain in their neighborhood."
WRSHOA represents more than 100 seniors living at Winchester Mobile Home Park, adjacent to the Winchester Mystery House and across from Santana Row. Residents at the park include former teachers and public servants. For 40 years, Winchester Ranch has been an important source of affordable homeownership for seniors.
“The last thing you want to worry about is becoming homeless,” said Dave Johnsen, Board President of the WRSHOA and resident of the park for nine years. “Now we can stay in our own neighborhood and remain part of the community that we have invested in and belonged to for so long.”
The Winchester Ranch Senior Homeowners Association has advocated for more than six years for a plan that would prevent the displacement of low-income families from the Park and have been actively negotiating with Pulte Homes for three years. The agreement outlines the homeowners’ rights and Pulte Homes’ responsibilities under the Mobilehome Conversation Ordinance and State Law.
The construction will be done in phases to minimize the impact on current residents. For those residents who wish to move, the agreement outlines terms for replacement and interim housing, rent differential, moving assistance, and value assessments for the residents’ mobilehomes by a pre-qualified appraiser. Residents will be waiving their rights to purchase the park under San Jose’s Conversion Ordinance, as well as agreeing to not oppose the development.
“Instead of enjoying retirement, residents took on the charge of saving their homes,” Aziz said. “We’re hopeful that this agreement sets a high standard for future development of parks.”
About the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley advances the rights of underrepresented individuals and families in our diverse community through free legal services, strategic advocacy, and educational outreach.
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