Parklane Mobile Home Park residents finally own their real estate.
Residents of the park, located just outside the city limits in northeast Fort Collins, formed a nonprofit organization — United Neighbors/Vecinos Unidos — to help them purchase the park shortly after the owner told them it would go on sale in December, according to a news release of the nonprofit.
Sale is closed Monday. The park is located in the Fort Collins Growth Management District, off East Mulberry Street, north of the Best Western Kiva Inn and Charco Broiler Restaurant.
Nicole Armstrong, a member of the United Neighbors/Vecinos Unidos board of directors, said residents bought the park for $6.8 million, prompting a major investor.
The money came from multiple sources: Larimer County provided a $1 million revocable loan using US bailout funds; The Bohemian Foundation provided a loan of $2.8 million; Residents received a $3 million loan from the Impact Development Fund. Residents worked with neighboring nonprofits — The Genesis Project and Matthews House — to help secure funding and navigate the purchase process, according to the press release.
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Residents knew that selling the park to a new owner would likely have meant an increase in rent or replacement of the park with another project, according to the release, and the sale to residents would help keep the park as affordable housing.
“I have lived in this community for 15 years,” Evilia Rosas, a resident of the park, said in the press release. “I love this place because it is central. It is close to schools, stores and gas stations and it is a safe and quiet place. I love my community very much and am ready to make positive changes along with my neighbours. For us it is a dream come true.”
Established in 1958, Parklane Mobile Home Park features 68 mobile homes that accommodate 200 adults and more than 100 children. Many families and individuals in the park have lived there for more than 20 years, according to the press release.
Parklane is one of six mobile home parks in Colorado that are owned or controlled by residents since the Colorado Mobile Home Park Act was updated in June 2020 to expand opportunities for residents to buy into their communities, according to the news release. Although the legislation aims to make purchasing these parks more achievable, only about 9% of the 69 parks sold in Colorado since June 2020 have been purchased by residents.
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Since January 2020, nearly 30% of all mobile home park units located in mobile home parks in Larimer County have been sold to new owners, according to the press release. None of these parks have been sold to residents or to organizations or non-profit organizations that represent residents.
An attempt by Hickory Village Mobile Home Park residents to purchase Fort Collins in 2021 failed.
“We hope that resident ownership and resident governance will become less scarce, and this sale will inspire other park residents,” Adri Santiago, United Neighbors/Vecinos Unidos board member, said in the press release. “Colorado legislators and our community nonprofits recognize that maintaining affordable housing is one of the biggest and most important challenges we must confront.”
From now on, residents will first set rent levels, utility services and maintenance, according to the release. This purchase gives residents the future option of moving into a sole proprietorship rather than a non-profit organization and settling in the meantime to explore different ownership models.