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Colorado House passes bill to give mobile home residents a shot at buying parks

March 3, 2020, 10:57 am

The Colorado House of Representatives on Tuesday voted on straight party lines to give mobile home residents a shot at buying the land under their parks if the owner decides to sell the property.

The bill may be relevant in resorts areas where high land costs make it tempting for park owners to sell to developers for higher-end projects. In Eagle County, regulators have expressed concern about pushing too hard against park owners who can simply sell to a developer and thereby endanger a huge source of desperately needed low-income, workforce housing.

Here’s the press release on HB-1201 sent out by House Democrats:

The House today passed HB20-1201, sponsored by Representatives Edie Hooton and Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, which would provide mobile home park residents a path forward to purchase the land under their homes if park owners decide to sell or redevelop the park. The vote was 41-24, with GOP members refusing to stand with the right of mobile home owners to protect their hard earned assets.

Rep. Edie Hooton

“Owning a home has long been a trusted pathway to economic security, but mobile home owners who have put their life’s savings into their property could lose everything with the stroke of a pen,” said Rep. Hooton, D-Boulder. “Most Coloradans who live in mobile home parks don’t own the land under their homes, and park owners can sell it out from under them at any time, forcing park residents to uproot their lives, often with little notice.”

Rep. Gonzales-Gutierrez

“The Right to Purchase Act would give mobile home owners 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. Gonzales-Gutierrez, D-Denver. “At a time when housing costs are growing rapidly, we should be working to give more Coloradans a fair shot at owning their home and securing the investments they’ve made. This bill will help Coloradans stay in the affordable homes where they’ve built their lives.”

Over 100,000 Coloradans live in mobile homes, and they are the single largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the state. Park owners can sell the land they live on or redevelop it without even notifying residents or giving them the opportunity to make an offer on the real estate.

HB 20-1201, sponsored by Representatives Hooton and Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, would create a pathway for mobile home residents to join together to purchase the land under their communities. The bill requires park owners to give residents 90 days notice if a park is for sale or if they intend to redevelop the land. 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.

HB20-1201 and HB20-1196, a separate bill to provide new protections for mobile home owners,  are supported by: 9 to 5 Colorado, Adams County, B-Konnected, Boulder County, Call to Action-CO, CatholicNetwork, City of Aurora, City of Boulder, City of Fort Collins, Colorado Center on Law and Policy, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Colorado Coalition of Manufactured Home Owners, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, Colorado Children’s Campaign, Colorado Disability Law, Colorado Municipal League, Colorado Poverty Law Project, Colorado Public Health Association, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Colorado Senior Lobby, Colorado Village Collaboration, GES Coalition, The Denver Foundation, Disability Law Colorado, Elevation Land Trust, Interfaith Alliance, League of Women Voters of Colorado, Livewell Colorado, Mile High Connects, Prosperity Now, Rodefei Tzedek, United for a New Economy, Westwood Unidos, Women’s Lobby of Colorado, Together Colorado, The Chaffee Housing Trust.

One Response to Colorado House passes bill to give mobile home residents a shot at buying parks

  1. Susie Kincade Reply

    March 3, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    This is a significant step forward with respect to the Edwards Mobile Home Park which is in deep decline – no potable water, potholes the size of sink holes; very questionable sewer and other infrastructure. In short, it’s a mess and the Park owner refuses to make improvements. It’s a cash cow for him and he doesn’t care about the people who live there. He wouldn’t even accept the County’s offer to loan him the money (with great terms) to upgrade the infrastructure and provide clean drinking water!

    There are many long-time residents who live there and have witnessed the decay of their neighborhood due to neglect over the past 20 years or more. They deserve the right to own the land under their homes and have a say in the upkeep, rules, and regulations. This buy-in will empower the residents to take pride in their neighborhood and make the improvements they desire; maybe establish an Home Owners Association. I believe we would see a real change in the look and livability of the Edwards Mobile Home park if this bill passes.

    This neighborhood was viable employee housing 40 years ago and owning there was a first step in the housing ladder for many people starting off in Vail. Because of neglect by the park owner who refuses to reinvest, and the shortage of affordable housing, it has declined to a state of disrepair and degradation that should not be happening in a community like ours with so many assets.

    I sincerely hope that our County works with this new bill and the residents of the park to reinvest and rejuvenate this important neighborhood in our community.

    Thanks for reporting on this.

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