Residents of San Jose Cellular Dwelling Park Create Co-Op to Buy Park Land – CBS San Francisco

Ironville SAN JOSE (KPIX) – Mobile home parks in the Bay Area are affordable but also very vulnerable to soaring property prices. This has led some South Bay RV owners to scramble to take control of their home.

Two years ago, homeowners at the Westwinds RV park in San Jose received a letter from the park administration stating that property owners would “not give rental renewals” and may “displace over 720 households and over 1,600 residents.”

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“We were alarmed,” said homeowner Patrick Grimes. “We said, ‘Hey, we have to do something to keep our park going.'”

“This is the last thing you would like to do to remove this from our inventory. Because we don’t have enough affordable housing at all, ”said homeowner Jim Conova

RV owners are in a difficult position because they own a home but not the land below. Moving out would also mean moving. So Grimes and a group of residents formed a homeowners group called the Westwinds Residents Organization.

The group submitted a petition to the town hall and won in March 2020. The city council unanimously decided to create a mobile home zone not just for west winds, but for every mobile home park in the city.

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“What we’re looking for is the security of knowing that our houses aren’t sold out among us,” Grimes said.

But knowing that the city’s protection could one day be undone, the Westwinds homeowners are now working to set up a cooperative that would buy the park and make the residents co-owners of the land themselves.

Paul Bradley runs a nonprofit called Resident Owned Communities USA that helps RV owners set up cooperatives.

“When the homeowners move up and buy the community, they remove this property from the speculative real estate market and remove the pursuit of profit from running the community,” Bradley said.

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The Westwinds Co-op’s efforts still have a long way to go in building membership and attracting investors. But they hope that one day no one can take their home away from them.

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