“With the Sunnyvale City Council election looming, housing affordability became the key topic at a candidates forum Wednesday night where more than 100 residents turned out to hear where the rivals stood on issues from rent control to mobile home parks.
The forum included candidates Henry Alexander III, who’s facing off against incumbent Gustav Larsson for Seat 1, Joshua Grossman who’s taking on Mayor Glenn Hendricks for Seat 2, and John Cordes who is matching up against Mason Fong for Seat 3, which will be vacated by termed-out Councilman Jim Griffith.
At the two-hour-long forum, candidates touched on RVs on city streets, plans to engage with their North Sunnyvale constituents, their vision for housing families whose annual incomes are below $90,000 and what they think about Google’s development plans in Moffett Park.
The event was hosted at Adobe Wells Mobile Home Community by the Sunnyvale Mobile Home Park Alliance — a group that advocates for rent control and rent stabilization for mobile home parks.
Of the six candidates, Larsson and Hendricks appeared to least favor rent control, with Larsson saying he believes in “voluntary solutions” as opposed to regulating the solution. He also expressed interest in seeing the results of a yearlong housing study by the city before he takes a stance on the issue.
“It’s a tricky situation and I’m really concerned about it and that’s why I’m glad the city is studying how exactly we’re going to navigate this for a good outcome,” he said.
Asked whether he would support rezoning any of the 403 acres that’s zoned for mobile home parks, Hendricks answered, “I do not see an environment where you would ever get four votes on the council to do that, but I would never do that,” which drew a rebuttal from his opponent.
“They voted to close Blue Bonnet,” Grossman said, referring to a park that is officially shutting down this week after losing a long legal battle against the city and a developer hired by the park owner to replace the park with townhomes. Both Larsson and Hendricks contended that Blue Bonnet was not zoned to be a mobile home park and that the city does not have a say in the closure of its parks.
Suggesting that manufactured homes could help ease the city’s housing affordability problem, especially for teachers and low-income families, Alexander said he would be interested in exploring whether the city could expand its mobile home park acreage.”