Hooton, Gonzales-Gutierrez, McCluskie

From left, Reps. Edie Hooton, Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez and Julie McCluskie.

Gov. Jared Polis signed two bills Tuesday to help those in the state living in mobile homes.

House Bill 1201 would make it easier for mobile home park residents to buy the land beneath their homes. House Bill 1196 protects residents from retaliation or excessive penalties for rule violations.

Rep. Edie Hooton, a Democrat from Boulder, sponsored both bills. She was joined by Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, a fellow Democrat from Denver, on the ownership bill and Dillon Democratic Rep. Julie McCluskie on the rules bill.

Hooton said the first bill gives residents options when a mobile home park owner decides to sell or redevelop the property.

“All Coloradans should have access to a safe, affordable place to live, and this new law will protect Coloradans who live in mobile home parks, our state’s largest source of unsubsidized, affordable housing, at a time when affordable housing is difficult to find,” she said in a statement.

Hooton sponsored a bill that became law last year that set up a dispute resolution process between mobile park residents and owners.

Gonzales-Gutierrez said they deserve a "fair shot" at protecting their investment.

“Unlike other homeowners, most mobile homeowners do not always have the security of owning the land they live on and can be forced out of their homes at nearly any time," she stated. "This new law will help ensure that more Coloradans can stay in the homes that they’ve built their lives around.”

Mobile home park owners have to give residents 14 days notice if the land is going up for sale and 12 months if they plan to redevelop the property. Residents then have 90 days to make an offer.

The bill also was sponsored by Sens. Dominick Moreno of Commerce City and Heidi Ginal of Fort Collins.

"With this new law people will be given the opportunity to come together and purchase the land they live on before it gets sold without warning," Moreno said in a statement. "Families will no longer be left stranded and vulnerable."

The bill on penalties is aimed at protecting residents from unwarranted attempts to evict them via high fines for minor offenses. The bill also provides more transparency on how mobile home park owners charge for utilities, sponsors said.

“Coloradans need to feel safe in their own homes, and this new law will help protect them from being forced out of their homes for a minor rule infraction,” McCluskie said in a statement. “Many Coloradans are feeling the pressure of paying their rent or mortgage during these difficult times, and this bill will protect the rights that mobile homeowners and all tenants should have and stop unwanted and costly penalties.”

The bill was sponsored in the upper chamber by Democratic Sens. Steve Fenberg of Boulder and Pete Lee of Colorado Springs.

“Over the last several months, low-income communities have been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic," Lee said in a statement. "Many people have lost their jobs and are facing unreasonable landlords that use retaliatory tactics when they are unable to pay rent.

“This law will protect some of Colorado’s most vulnerable populations by ensuring that mobile park owners are not allowed to retaliate against residents with unwarranted evictions – a protection people desperately need.”

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