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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.
“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.”
“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.