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Residents buy Fort Collins mobile home park, outbidding investor

Some residents already owned their mobile homes, but the land they sat on belonged to a landlord who wanted to sell it.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The Parklane Mobile Home Park in Fort Collins has a new name. It's a new name chosen by its new owners.

"The new name is New Life Mobile Homes, because with the previous owner there were a lot of injustices," said Evelia Rosas, who’s lived there for 15 years. "We wanted a change."

When the land the community just east of downtown Fort Collins sits on went up for sale, an investor wanted to buy the park. Rosas and her neighbors were scared they’d tear it down and force them to move.

"Lots of the neighbors were scared," Rosas said, speaking in Spanish. "They didn’t know what was going to happen. Lots of people were already starting to look for new apartments to live in."

The residents of the park joined a new nonprofit called United Neighbors/Vecinos Unidos to purchase the land. The nonprofit was supported by two other community organizations in Fort Collins, The Genesis Project and The Matthews House. They closed on the deal Aug. 1.

"For us it was a dream come true. It was a wish we’ve had for years," Rosas said. "It’s a calmness that everyone feels now."

While many residents owned their mobile homes, they didn’t own the land they sit on. Now they can control what happens to the land without the fear of being kicked out or taken advantage of.

Colorado passed a mobile home park act in 2020 that made the sale of this park possible. The act gives residents of any mobile home park the opportunity to make an offer to buy the park if the landlord plans to sell it. 

The residents in Fort Collins hope their story will inspire other people dealing with similar situations to also come together to buy their land.

"Yes, for all of us it is a dream," said Sonia Torres, who has lived in the park for 25 years. "I can sleep well now."

Residents say the previous owner did not fix broken things like toilets inside homes and would force people who spoke out about the "injustices" to leave their homes. 

Now, they say, they have more security and power to make their own decisions. 

"Now for us it is a new life," Rosas said. "A new life."

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