Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday signed a pair of new laws giving mobile home residents stronger protections against retaliation, eviction and redevelopment of the land beneath their homes. Eagle County’s largest mobile home park, Eagle River Village in Edwards, has been in the news for water-quality issues and allegations of retaliation against residents who complain.
Two new laws – one of which was sponsored by Rep. Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon – are aimed at putting a stop to retaliation and could give Eagle River Village residents an option to purchase the land under their park should the owners, Littleton-based Ascentia, ever decide to sell or redevelop the valuable property on the valley floor beneath Cordillera in Edwards.
Here’s a press release on the bill signing from the Colorado House Democrats:
Governor Jared Polis today signed two bills into law that will protect mobile homeowners by creating a pathway for them to purchase the land under their properties and by protecting mobile homeowners from retaliation or massive penalties for minor rule violations.
“This bill gives mobile homeowners a path forward to purchase the land they live on in the event a mobile home park owner decides to sell or redevelop a park,” said Rep. Edie Hooton, D-Boulder. “All Coloradans should have access to a safe, affordable place to live, and this new law will protect Coloradans who live in mobile home parks, our state’s largest source of unsubsidized, affordable housing, at a time when affordable housing is difficult to find.”
“Coloradans, many of whom have put everything into purchasing their mobile homes, should have a fair shot at owning their home and protecting the investments they’ve made,” said Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, D-Denver. “Unlike other homeowners, most mobile homeowners do not always have the security of owning the land they live on and can be forced out of their homes at nearly any time. This new law will help ensure that more Coloradans can stay in the homes that they’ve built their lives around.”
HB20-1201, sponsored by Representatives Edie Hooton and Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, creates a pathway for mobile home residents to join together to purchase the land under their communities. The bill requires park owners to give residents 14 days notice if a park is for sale or 12 months notice if they intend to redevelop the land. Residents thereafter have 90 days to make a qualifying offer to purchase the park and enter into negotiations with the park owner. This allows residents enough time to organize and obtain financing to make an offer. If residents are interested in a purchase, park owners must enter into good faith negotiations and provide residents with the information they need to prepare an offer. Under the bill, communities can assign purchase rights to a municipality, county, housing authority or relevant nonprofit.
“Coloradans need to feel safe in their own homes, and this new law will help protect them from being forced out of their homes for a minor rule infraction,” said Rep. Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon. “Many Coloradans are feeling the pressure of paying their rent or mortgage during these difficult times, and this bill will protect the rights that mobile homeowners and all tenants should have and stop unwanted and costly penalties.”
HB20-1196, sponsored by Representatives Edie Hooton and Julie McCluskie, protects residents from retaliation when they complain about park owner violations. It prevents park owners from removing tenants over minor rule violations, thereby protecting mobile home residents from unwarranted and arbitrary evictions that can destroy their lives. The bill also requires transparency in utility billing so that residents can ensure that the money they pay for essential services goes towards its intended purpose, and secures a right to privacy for tenants, mandating that park owners provide adequate notice and obtain tenant consent before entering their homes.