Community Voices explores critical issues in manufactured housing (MH) communities through stories of leadership by MH park residents, especially grassroot activists committed to change. The project is designed to share information among manufactured housing communities about how they address issues and communicate the challenges faced by these communities to policymakers and others in Colorado. CU Boulder students are trained to research, conduct interviews and write stories related to affordability, community development, livability and environment/climate change. In these initial print and audio stories, we explore common issues facing manufactured housing park residents, including eviction, corporate ownership of MH parks, COVID-related vulnerabilities, limitations on renovations and more.
"It was a no brainer," says Dave Weil, a massage therapist who moved to a Boulder mobile home park in the late 1990s. "I had to come up with $9,000 and the first month's lot rental, and I was in. If I hadn't had the option of living in a manufactured home, I would have had to move out of Boulder because my rent was approaching 50 percent of my monthly income."
Listen to Dave Weil speak about life in a Boulder mobile home park.
"I ended up struggling to make ends meet," says Michael Peirce, after a large corporation bought the mobile home park where he was living and initiated a 12-percent annual lot rental increase. "As a result, I became an activist to help others in similar positions."
"All the other parks residents were talking about the same things happening," says Peggy Kuhn, who helped start an HOA in her mobile home park after a large corporation bought the park. "The vulnerable people were being taken advantage of and threatened with eviction. They would run out the older mobile home people, evict them, get rid of their homes and then would put in a new mobile home and rent it. My heart just went out to these people who lost their homes."