• Ann Norton and Kathy Smith

Golden Hills Mobile Home Park--the latest news

Updated: 4 days ago

This is a story about an out-of-state corporation purchasing a local mobile home park and making it difficult for our Golden neighbors to "age in place," raise their families, and have stable affordable housing.

Golden Hills was featured in a recent Denver Post Article

These Colorado mobile home residents tried twice to buy their park. Will the third time be the charm? (12/17/21)

In April of 2021, residents of Golden Hills Mobile Home Park in north Golden (2nd and Cheyenne), some of whom have lived there for decades, were told that their park was being sold to a California-based company. These residents own their homes, but unlike most homeowners in Golden, have to lease the land on which their home sits...month in, month out, year after year. Most of the homes are not movable so essentially the mobile home owners only have equity if they can stay in place. Mobile homes represent most of the affordable housing in Golden. Some of our most vulnerable residents make their homes in them, raise their kids in them, and are part of our town. Golden Hills is a neighborhood, and its residents are our neighbors.

A new state law gives residents of mobile home parks that are being sold the right to know the terms of the sale offer and to make their own offer to purchase their park. The Golden Hills residents formed a cooperative and made a higher offer to buy their mobile home park. In fact, they made two better offers to buy their park and both times were turned down by the owner, who ended up selling the park to the California-based company in mid-November.

Within days of buying the park and without making any changes in amenities (there are none in the park) or improvements, including to the deteriorated roads and water and sewer infrastructure, the new company raised the rents for the lots to $795 per month. This represents a greater than 50% rent increase for most home owners. Many residents are on limited fixed incomes and will have no way to make up for this rent increase. The new park owner is also trying to add additional fees and costs to the residents, including charging for utilities that were previously part of the rent, imposing oppressive restrictions on residents, their guests, and their pets, and requiring costly improvements to the homes themselves. The City of Golden has lined up some rental assistance opportunities for the residents through The Action Center, but this is a short-term solution to prevent displacement while searching for a long-term solution.

In early December 2021, the new corporate owner expressed its willingness to entertain an offer from this tenacious community to purchase their park and become a resident owned community. The Golden Hills Community Cooperative, an association of mobile home owners, is currently working with ROC USA (Resident Owned Communities) and Thistle ROC to facilitate and finance the purchase. If the Cooperative is successful in purchasing their park, they would hire a professional management company and also receive ongoing assistance in Cooperative operations from Thistle ROC. Resident ownership would result in long-term, stable, affordable housing in the heart of Golden. Let's all hope for a happy ending...

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