Breaking News
More () »

Mobile home residents in Clear Creek County worried about being pushed out

Residents say they're worried about losing their parks to developers, with no affordable options to relocate.

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. — Affordable housing can be difficult to come by in Colorado, especially in mountain towns. 

Rent prices continue to increase and people are being pushed out of their homes. 

“It once was 20-30% below what Denver was just ten years ago, not even," said Autumn Brooks, from the community group Five Star Neighborhood Collaborative. "Now, it’s almost 20% above what Denver is.”

Credit: KUSA - Alex Castillo
“The people in our position, in our homes, we make this county run, we make it function," said Autumn Brooks. "Without us, they’d be in just as much trouble, too.”

In Clear Creek County, she said mobile home park residents are at a high risk for displacement because they're under constant threat of being bought out by a developer.

“We can’t afford to move, and to move any trailer they have to be 2010 or newer," she said. 

Brooks said moving a trailer is expensive and a new one can go for around $100,000, leaving mobile home owners with hardly any options. 

"The average price that people are being offered to vacate their homes is $7,000," she said. "So they aren’t even offering enough for a down payment for another home."

Lisa Kunze rents in a mobile home park and said she has even fewer protections than people who own their mobile home. 

Credit: KUSA - Alex Castillo
"So, we all are very afraid that because it’s up for sale again, we still haven’t gotten a lease and things are fuzzy," said Lisa Kunze.

"Look out my window, I see Berthoud Pass. I see beauty everyday but at what cost?" said Kunze. "I'm worried about losing my home."

She has lived at Victorian Village in Empire for the last eight years. 

"The phone rings and I'm like, 'OK is this is the day? Am I going to open my door and there's that notice on it that says you have 30 days to evict?'" she said. "It's a frightening way to exist."

Kunze said the county recognizes the land where she lives as a mobile home park. But the state doesn't, which limits some protections residents have under state law. 

Brooks said the state considers an area a mobile home park only if there are a minimum of six trailers on the land. She said her understanding of what a trailer is to the state is a mobile dwelling on wheels. Once the rigging is taken off and put on a foundation, it's considered a modular home. 

"You have a right to safe housing that's affordable and that just doesn't exist up here anymore," said Kunze. "We are your neighbors. We are the people who serve the tourists who we recruit very heavily in this state."

Brooks said five mobile home parks in Clear Creek County are up for sale right now, including the one where Kunze lives. 

"There's no stipulation to say that it has to remain a mobile home park," said Brooks. "Whether we're renting or we own our mobile homes, we don't know if we'll have a home."

On Saturday, 9to5 Colorado led a "Mobile Home Organizing 101" training for residents in Clear Creek County. Brooks and Kunze were there, along other residents. 

Credit: KUSA - Alex Castillo
9to5 Colorado hosts a "Mobile Home Park Organizing 101" training in Georgetown.

"Banding together protects each other," said Brooks. "It's time to be able to bring back and take back some of that control so that we can be a seat at the table in the event an [mobile home park] owner decides to sell."

During the training, Brooks said it looks like Clear Creek County may now have a path forward to purchase the five mobile home parks currently up for sale. She said this would help protect residents from being displaced.

RELATED: Let's Just Vote: Prop 123 and what it means for affordable housing

RELATED: Time running out to apply for Colorado’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program


Before You Leave, Check This Out