Golden Hills Mobile Home Park--the latest news
Updated: 4 days ago
Our neighbors at the Golden Hills Manufactured Home Community are trying to buy their park to become a resident owned community so they can have stable affordable housing, raise their families, and age in place.
Golden Hills Manufactured Home Community is nestled in a neighborhood in North Golden. There are 39 homes with a collection of hard-working young families and individuals, small business owners, caregivers, older adults, and folks on fixed incomes. Home owners there have unsuccessfully tried three times to buy their park and become a resident owned community. Now they’re trying again…
Photo in Denver Post article, December 17, 2021
In most manufactured home communities, the residents own their homes but pay rent on the land (aka, lots) underneath their homes. These lot rents are in addition to paying for mortgages, home maintenance, and upkeep. Often, their homes aren't "mobile”, so they're stuck where they are, which makes them economically vulnerable. Monthly lot rent in the Golden area is $1,000+. The average 2023 Social Security benefit is $1,827 per month and the maximum disability payment is $914 per month for an eligible individual.
Currently, Golden Hills is up for sale and home owners are in the process of trying to buy their park to become a resident owned community (ROC), which is a neighborhood of manufactured homes that is owned by a cooperative of the home owners who live there. Co-op members continue to own their own homes individually and an equal share of the land beneath the entire neighborhood, and monthly lot rents are reinvested in their community. In ROCs, lot rents stabilize over time compared to for-profit lot rents.
Golden Hills home owners are working with ROC USA and Thistle-ROC to facilitate and finance their purchase, and they are seeking subsidies from public entities and philanthropic organizations to offset some of the costs of their purchase. If the residents are successful in purchasing their park, they will hire a professional management company and also receive ongoing assistance in operations for ten years. Resident ownership would result in long-term, stable, affordable housing in the heart of Golden.
ROC USA, a non-profit founded in 2008, has successfully converted over 300 manufactured home communities to resident ownership nationwide with a 100% success rate (i.e., no communities have failed). Thistle-ROC has successfully converted 7 Colorado manufactured home communities to resident ownership and has another 5 communities in the pipeline.
Here's the Backstory:
In April of 2021, residents of Golden Hills Manufactured Home Community—some of whom had lived there for decades—were told that their park was being sold to an out-of-state corporation. The home owners formed a cooperative and went through the process of trying to buy their park to become a resident owned community. They had a roller coaster ride of ups and downs (see news articles below), and sadly their efforts were unsuccessful. In mid-November 2021 the out-of-state corporation took ownership of their park. The new corporate owner raised the lot rents by 50%+ for most home owners, effective February 2022. Another $200/month rent increase starts in February 2023. These large lot rent increases are burdensome for most residents, especially those on fixed incomes who do not have a way to make up for these increases. Over the past year, the Golden Hills community has already lost at least two of their residents to displacement.
The City of Golden arranged for some rental assistance opportunities for the residents, but this was a short-term six-month solution to prevent displacement. The assistance ended in August 2022.
Over the past four years, there have been several statewide laws enacted that provide protections and opportunities for manufactured home communities. Also, funding to assist with resident owned manufactured home communities has been appropriated from American Rescue Plan Act monies and the Proposition 123 ballot measure. Unfortunately for Golden Hills, these funds will not be available to home owners for several months.
In the short term, Golden’s Salvation Army SEU offers assistance for Golden residents. To make a donation to help provide rent and utility assistance for Golden’s manufactured home community residents:
Please mail a check (checks are preferred; please specify "Golden manufactured home residents" in the memo):
The Salvation Army Golden SEU
1320 Arapahoe St.
Golden CO 80401
For online donations (please specify "Golden manufactured home residents" in the comment):