Bills would provide residents with a path forward to purchase the land under their homes; secure new privacy, billing and retaliation protections
DENVER, CO — The House Committee on Transportation and Local Government today passed HB20-1196 and HB20-1201, critical legislation that will secure new protections for mobile home park residents and provide a path forward for residents to purchase the land under their homes.
“Buying and owning a home is a huge achievement, but for nearly 100,000 Coloradans across the state, it’s not so simple,” said Rep. Hooton, D-Boulder. “With few exceptions, Coloradans who live in mobile home parks don’t own the land underneath. That means that with the stroke of a pen, hard working Colorado families can lose their most cherished asset- their home.”
“If a park owner decides to sell the property that their residents live on, residents have to figure out the often impossible task of moving their homes or forego them altogether,” said Rep. Gonzales-Gutierrez, D-Denver. “The Right to Purchase Act would give homeowners a path forward to purchase the land that they have been living on so that they don’t have to go through the heartbreaking process of uprooting children from school and dismantling the stability that they have spent years building.”
“From unwarranted evictions to retaliation against residents, park owners have had the upper hand over mobile home communities and the residents who call them home,” said Rep. McCluskie, D-Dillon. “Homeowners deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. This bill will secure critical new rights for mobile home park residents such as protections against retaliation and the right to privacy.”
Over 100,000 Coloradans live in mobile homes, and they are the single largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the state. Park residents, however, have been subject to arbitrary evictions and retaliation when they file complaints. Furthermore, 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 20-1196, sponsored by Representatives Edie Hooton and Julie McCluskie, would define retaliation against residents and would outline a process to protect residents from retaliation when they complain about park owner violations. It prevents park owners from removing tenants over minor rule violations, protecting mobile home residents from unwarranted evictions that can destroy their lives. Furthermore, it requires transparency in utility billing so that residents can ensure that the money they pay for essential services goes towards what it is supposed to. The bill also secures a right to privacy for tenants, mandating that park owners provide adequate notice and obtain tenant consent before entering their homes.
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.
HB20-1196 passed by a vote of 7-4 with the Republican members of the committee opposing common sense protections for mobile home owners. HB20-1201 passed 7-4 with the Republican members of the committee standing in the way of providing the opportunity for mobile home residents to purchase the land they live on in the face of a mass eviction.
HB20-1196 and HB20-1201 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.