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County loans $1.1M for mobile home park purchase in Lafayette

Forgivable loan part of commissioners’ work to help preserve existing affordable housing
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The Boulder County Commissioners have approved a 30-year forgivable loan of $1,055,000 in support of the purchase of the Mountain View Mobile Home Park located in Lafayette to help transition it to a resident-owned community.

The community’s residents founded La Luna Cooperative a year ago as part of a plan to purchase Mountain View after it was listed for sale in September 2022. The cooperative has obtained most of its financing for the acquisition of the property in the form of grants and low-interest loans that lower the total cost of purchasing the park.

In addition to Boulder County, the partnership also includes Thistle, a small nonprofit association dedicated to the management of affordable housing, Together Colorado, a nonpartisan, multi-racial, and multi-faith community organization, the City of Lafayette, and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

La Luna Cooperative members have organized to own and manage the property to serve the needs of low- and moderate-income families. The cooperative model can help preserve affordable housing options for individuals on limited or fixed incomes while also offering them a larger role in the management of communities.

“We are thrilled to announce this funding source to support more affordable housing options in Boulder County,” said Commissioner Claire Levy. “Boulder County values the role of mobile home park communities in maintaining affordable housing opportunities, and we know it takes a lot of cooperation from mobile home park residents to organize and move towards housing stability.”

In addition to transitioning the community to resident ownership, the county’s financial commitment will help keep lot rentals affordable. “The goal of this funding is to help families stay in their houses and keeping rents stable,” added Levy.

For Boulder County, the preservation of existing affordable housing is a top priority.

On May 3, 2022, the Boulder County Commissioners approved a community recommendation to invest $5 million in a new mobile home park strategy that focuses on local investments promoting housing affordability.

Transition to Resident Owned Communities is one of the focus areas of the Boulder County Housing and Human Services (BCHHS) Mobile Home Park (MHP) Affordability Program. Boulder County is also promoting housing affordability with federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to help expand home ownership, cover the costs of needed home repairs, and invest in projects to improve living conditions for families experiencing financial hardships.

“These communities can feel more solid and prosper with the appropriate collaborations and partnerships,” said Francisco Padilla, Mobile Home Park Project manager for Boulder County Housing and Human Services.

“Increasing the number of Resident Owned Communities and ensuring long-term affordability for mobile home owners in an important step in reaching regional affordable housing goals,” said Rachel Arndt, a mobile home policy advocate at Boulder County.

For Mountain View's residents, the news came as an early holiday celebration. “It’s like a miracle of God that we are going to be able to keep our homes,” said LaVern Shafer, board president for La Luna Cooperative.