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House Bill 20-1196 and 20-1201 Manufactured Homes



News From The Colorado State Capitol
From the Office of State Rep. Edie Hooton

The manufactured home bills we’ve all been waiting for – House Bills 20-1196 and 20-1201 – will be heard in the House Transportation and Local Government Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 19. The committee hearing begins at 1:30 in Legislative Services Building room “A,” and if you choose to go in person, this building is across 14th Street from the south side of the Capitol.

Why We’re Running These Bills: Part One

We’ve included a link to both bills in the titles below if you haven’t read them yet. But what’s really important is the improvements they can bring to peoples’ quality of life. The points below could be important concepts if you’re persuading a legislator on the committee to vote “yes” on the bills, or if you have colleagues who don’t yet understand why we’re working on manufactured home legislation.

In General

  • Manufactured homeowners normally own their homes, but not the land on which it sits.
  • This can put homeowners at a power disadvantage in disputes with management or in their living environments.
  • Both HB 20-1196 and 20-1201 are designed to help level the playing field, so homeowners would gain increased legal rights and opportunities they don’t have today.

HB 20-1196: Mobile Home Park Act Updates

  • Eviction is a Serious Penalty: Families being evicted might lose their home, some or all of its value, and their place to live. Eviction should not happen for minor offenses.
  • Retaliation is Stressful: Homeowners have rights under the law, and they should be free to exercise these rights without fear of retaliation.
  • Everybody Needs Water: Residents deserve fair and understandable water billing practices. Residents need properly functioning water and sewer systems to live their daily lives.
  • Privacy is Good: Homeowners have a right to peaceful, private enjoyment of their homes and lots, without unexpected and unannounced intrusion from landlords or management.

HB 20-1201: Mobile Home Park Residents Opportunity to Purchase

  • Control Your Destiny: Members of resident-owned communities can work together on their own rules and standards for their park environment.
  • Control Your Rent: Today, national corporations own a growing number of parks, and they may have no reason to keep lot rents affordable. Resident-owned communities might be able to limit rent increases, which would be a great benefit for people on fixed or limited incomes.
  • Keep Your Home: If a park is sold, it’s possible the new owner might want to sell it for redevelopment, even for a different land use like an apartment complex. Resident-owned communities would almost certainly decide to keep their park as a manufactured home park.
  • A Little Help: Communities could assign purchase rights to local governments or housing authorities, and these entities aren’t driven by profit.

Why We’re Running These Bills: Part Two

These bills are the product of many peoples’ work, by no means just legislators. Part of our team has included actual homeowners, some belonging to homeowner advocacy groups, and we’ve used public meetings and other forms of information gathering to learn personal stories about peoples’ experiences.

Our work last year also contributed to quite a bit of interest from Colorado media, and here are some great sources to get perspective on what’s going on in the world of manufactured homes.

Vail Daily Series on Eagle River Village: Journalist David O. Williams did a comprehensive three-part series on problems with potable water at Eagle River Village. The Daily also followed up with a strongly-worded editorial calling for immediate action. Yet half-a-year later, residents still have problems, and the Daily just published two more follow-up stories on the same issue. All six pieces are worth the read, but here’s a quote from an Eagle River Village resident that sums up the unenviable problems in three sentences:

“The water is not drinkable; it’s dirty, not only in color but also in odor. I don’t use the water even to cook, and I spend a lot of money on the five-gallon bottles of water. It’s not only the money, but I’m also using a lot of plastic.”

Parked: Half the American Dream: The Colorado Sun worked with a number of news outlets on this gigantic collaborative effort that captured manufactured home park stories from across Colorado. There are many great stories here, but since HB 20-1201 is up on Wednesday, this story mentions how and why the Yampa Valley Housing Authority purchased the Fish Creek Mobile Home Park and saved 68 manufactured homes. This quote captures part of the essence of why we’re running HB 20-1201:

“…our community sort of freaked out — all of our mobile home parks are going to get wiped out by investors,” said Jason Peasley, executive director of Yampa Valley Housing Authority. “We thought, we will lose that form of affordable housing.”

What’s Next? Both HBs 20-1196 and 20-1201 passed in committee, and now they’ll go to the full House for a vote. If they succeed, they’ll go to the Senate for equal consideration. We’ll keep you posted on bill progress throughout the 2020 legislative session.

Didn’t Make Wednesday’s Hearing? All formal legislative hearings, including committee and floor sessions, can be heard via live audio and recorded after the fact. For House Transportation and Local Government, those who can’t make the hearing in person can just tune in at this link to the “Committee Audio”:

There’s Still Time to Spread the Word: We certainly hope for strong support in Wednesday’s hearing, but your respectful input can still help any legislators who might still be “on the fence” vote in our favor. You can call, email, or write any state legislator at any time, and here’s a link to the Transportation and Local Government Committee, with member names and contact information.

One way or another, our next newsletter will include results from Wednesday’s hearing! Thanks again for your support, and I know we’re all looking for positive results!

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