May 23, 2019
County and City support Gov. Polis at Mobile Home Park Act Oversight bill signing in Broomfield
Broomfield, Colo. - Elected officials gathered in Broomfield’s city and county offices on Thursday, May 23 to celebrate a major milestone in protecting residents of Colorado’s manufactured housing communities. Governor Jared Polis, Rep. Edie Hooton, other members of the Boulder County delegation, and county and city officials attended a ceremony alongside mobile home residents and other stakeholders for the signing of HB19-1309, the Mobile Home Park Act Oversight bill. Boulder County and the City of Boulder are proud to have collaborated with state elected officials to help ensure that this legislation was strongly rooted in the needs and realities of our community.
“Homeowners across Boulder County have been working with county and city staff to address abuses and challenges that they regularly face in some of the county’s mobile home parks. Now with the passage of HB19-1309, Colorado can enforce the Mobile Home Park Act, and statutory counties, like Boulder County, have the authority to enact and enforce local ordinances to address harms,” said Commissioner Deb Gardner. “With nearly 4,000 sites for mobile homes in parks within our county, this bill and its protections for mobile home owners will have a significant impact in improving equity in for our residents.”
Some of the common violations of the Mobile Home Park Act by park owners across the state include overbilling for water and other utilities, levying unexplained fees, wrongful evictions, capricious rules and regulations, entering properties without notice, and failing to maintain basic park infrastructure. As one home owner recently explained to a member of Colorado’s federal delegation, “It is like we are serfs in their kingdom.”
“Protecting the mobile home parks inside the city limits and the quality of life of their residents is critical to maintaining affordable housing options,” said Kurt Firnhaber, director of the city’s Housing and Human Services Department. “This bill will provide both residents and park owners with a fair and accessible process for resolving their differences.”
Through a 2018 sunrise review of the Mobile Home Park Act by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), it was found that many instances of complaints by mobile home owners would indeed constitute violations of the Act, the federal Fair Housing Act, and PUC rules. The review also concluded that “the harm largely stems from the lack of enforcement of existing laws, bad actors exploiting a relatively loose regulatory structure.” The passage of this new bill grants the Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing the authority to administer a dispute resolution and enforcement program funded by a small lot fee on mobile home park owners. The legislation also extends the length of time a homeowner has to cure late rent payments to align with Colorado’s Landlord/Tenant law, extends the time to sell or move their home following eviction from 48 hours to 30 days and up to 60 days if additional lot rent is paid, and grants statutory cities and counties the authority to regulate parks at the local level. Before passage of this law, residents would often have insufficient time to move or sell their home after an eviction, resulting in partial or complete loss of their largest investment.
Boulder County and the City of Boulder have policy teams that work throughout the year to advocate for and against legislation at the state level. This bill signing is for just one of dozens of bills that Boulder County and the City of Boulder successfully advocated for during the 2019 Legislative Session.
For more information about Boulder County’s Legislative Priorities visit www.BoulderCounty.org/legislative-affairs/.
For information on the City of Boulder’s state legislative efforts, visit www.bouldercolorado.gov/state-fed.