Trailer Park Tenants Offered Cash To Move

New Story
Getting paid to leave your home doesn't happen very often. But a plan to relocate more than 20 tenants of the aging Main Street Mobile Home and RV Park offers them thousands of dollars to do just that, in advance of the park's conversion into a nearly 390-unit multi-family housing development. On Nov. 27, Milpitas City Council voted 4-1, with Councilwoman Debbie Giordano dissenting, to approve a state-mandated mobile home park conversion impact report.

Among other things, the report lays out terms that San Mateo developer Trammell Crow Residential will provide relocation assistance to remaining residents at 1504 S. Main St. "At the current time, the mobile home park has 45 tenant spaces, presently 23 of these spaces are occupied," Felix Reliford, Milpitas principal housing planner, said at the meeting. He said most remaining tenants live in recreational vehicles. But two residents reside in park-owned mobile homes, while one resides in his own mobile home.

Following City of Milpitas negotiations, Reliford said a three-tier relocation assistance plan was proposed to accommodate tenants' departure from the park. The first tier provides an early incentive of $5,000 to residents who leave the park by Jan. 31, 2008. Also, a $4,500 base relocation benefit would be included a total of $9,500. To date, city reports indicate that eight residents have accepted this. Fifteen other residents have indicated a desire to be included, he said. A second tier plan offers $2,500 for tenants who leave the park by March 31, 2008, plus a $4,500 base relocation benefit a total of $7,000. A third tier plan offers $4,500 to residents who vacate the park after March 31, 2008. In addition, any deposits paid by tenants of either RVs or mobile homes would be returned.

According to Reliford, although state law only provides for the relocation of mobile home park owners and not RV tenants, the city wants all remaining tenants to receive relocation monies. "One of the things the City of Milpitas said early on is that we consider every resident (of the park) to be a tenant," he said. "We do not differentiate from mobile home park tenants and RV tenants." He said the park's property owner, Baystone Property LLC of Milpitas, is still owed approximately $180,000 in unpaid back rent. "The property owner has been adamant in obtaining that amount," Reliford said. He added, however, that the city felt the amount owed would leave park tenants "with very little to relocate."

"Subsequently we came to an agreement that (Baystone) collect 25 percent of the back rent and forego 75 percent," he said, adding about $135,000 would go uncollected. Reliford said in one case an evicted tenant owed Baystone as much as $13,000 in back rent. "For those residents who have paid up their rent, (and do not) owe any back rent and monies prior to the Jan. 31 date, they will receive a relocation package of $9,500," Reliford said.

Besides relocation monies, the relocation package offers aid from a relocation assistance firm, and provides lists within a 200-mile radius of mobile home parks for potential tenant relocation. "The applicant has provided relocation assistance benefits substantially greater in comparison to other mobile home parks that have closed in Santa Clara County in the past several years," Reliford said.

Many tenants of the mobile home park arrived to comment at the meeting. They noted the relocation benefits as well as unsafe, and unsanitary living conditions at the park. Tenant Michelle Sebesta said the park has been a health hazard for a long time. She noted that a few months ago construction crews on the Aspen Family low-income apartment project to the south of the park had piled up a 30-foot high pile of dirt. The city made the contractor remove the pile, deeming it too high for the area. "We're

More Stories

Get The Newsletter

Get The Newsletter

The latest multifamily industry news delivered to your inbox.