A long and often torturous ordeal for people living in a doomed San Jose mobile home park has come to a close.
The Winchester Ranch Mobile Home Park was slated to close after property owners and developers struck a deal to build new housing, but a unique deal hammered out last summer and approved by the city council this week rescued the residents.
The deal will allow for the development, but it includes a plan to pay the residents for their mobile homes. The deal also includes a future condo complex that the mobile home park residents can move in to. The residents will be able to live in two bedroom units at the same rent and stay there for the rest of their lives.
"As we all know, with what's going on in San Jose, that is just a miracle," mobile home owner Mari Jo Pokriots said.
The park group applauded San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Vice Mayor Chappie Jones and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley for hammering out a deal but credited property owner Pulte Group for the unique compromise.
"We made it very clear to the developer that we would not support any project that did not include an agreement with the residents so they could stay on-site for the rest of their lives," Jones said.
The plan paves the way for almost 700 housing units and a new park.
The demolition of the mobile homes and construction of the new homes will be done in phases over a few years starting this fall.
Mobile home owner Mary Kuykendall pointed out San Jose has 58 other mobile home parks. She wants Winchester Ranch to be a blueprint.
"It's a magnificent deal," she said. "It is beyond our hopes, but we stuck through it. We organized an alliance."