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Fallout from Silicon Valley mobile home eviction threats — widespread fear

Louis Hansen, The Mercury News on

Published in News & Features

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The letters warning of a possible eviction that circulated around Westwinds Mobile Home Park this month shook more than homeowners -- fear has rippled out to residents in other parks.

Mobile home owners, worried about their parks closing, flooded local officials and real estate agents with calls, texts and emails.

Martha O'Connell, an activist and mobile home owner in San Jose, said owners feared additional eviction threats and felt renewed anxiety that their parks would become prime targets for redevelopment. "It's insane," she said.

Silicon Valley has seen several major parks change ownership and face redevelopment in recent years. Many sit on choice real estate in a region of high property prices and soaring demand for housing.

Santa Clara County has 108 parks, including 59 in San Jose, according to state figures. San Mateo has 24, Alameda has 56 and Contra Costa has 72.

But city and park officials this week sought to reassure residents, with San Jose council members introducing a new measure to protect two parks zoned for high-density housing: Westwinds and Mountain Springs.


Westwinds is one of the biggest parks in the state and the largest in San Jose with 723 homes and 1,600 residents. A dispute between property owners Nicholson Family Partnership and park managers MHC Operating over the park's future has spilled over into Santa Clara County Superior Court.

MHC accused the family partnership in court of demanding that MHC evict all residents by the end of the management contract in August 2022. Both sides say they support park residents and seek to preserve affordable housing for the community.

The family partnership said in a new statement to this news organization they plan to redevelop the property while preserving affordable and stable housing for park residents. The family declined to release any project details, and no proposal has been submitted to the city.

"Our intention is to work collaboratively with the city to arrive at a long-term redevelopment of the property that protects the tenants, while simultaneously offering a positive outcome to help ameliorate the city's housing shortage, including the provision of an affordable housing component," Bruce Nicholson, co-manager of the partnership, said in a statement.


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