Senator John Kefalas represents District 14 in Ft. Collins. His bill, SB17-098, on Mobile Home Parks was postponed indefinitely this session.
The Time Magazine article, “The Home of the Future” reaffirms the value and benefits of manufactured housing and resident-owned communities – economic vitality and home equity, a sense of community and pride, and an opportunity for unsubsidized and quality affordable housing. This article demonstrates a fact that deserves better acceptance by the general public and elected officials – manufactured housing is an integral component of affordable housing that can help solve Colorado’s affordable housing crisis especially for households with low or fixed-incomes. Nevertheless, manufactured home communities or mobile home parks are vanishing due to economic, social and political forces.
As a state, we need to do a better job of preserving manufactured home communities through statutory changes that support homeowners who seek an opportunity to purchase the land and establish resident owned communities as an HOA, cooperative or through a community land trust arrangement. As a state, we need to do a better job of advancing this type of housing by creating a framework for changing local ordinances and land use policies to incentivize building new manufactured home communities. As a state we need to agree upon alternative dispute resolution methods for enforcing consumer protections that are already in the Mobile Home Park Act, and when a park is to be sold for change of use and redevelopment, there needs to be public-private cost sharing to help families that are displaced.
Moving forward, I am deeply committed to continuing our efforts of the past four years to protect, preserve and advance the manufactured housing component of Colorado’s affordable housing portfolio because this is logical way to help solve Colorado’s affordable housing crisis. Moving forward, we must work collaboratively with the manufactured housing industry, park owners and home owners, the business community, public and private developers and stakeholders and financial institutions. Articles such as, “The Home of the Future” shed light on the issues, provide great examples of what we need to be doing in Colorado and help frame the conversations that will lead to successful results – pride of ownership, economic integration, diverse housing opportunities and greater economic and social justice.
Commentary submitted by Senator John Michael Kefalas D-Fort Collins, District 14
More about Senator John Kefalas:
Senator John Kefalas serves the people of Senate District 14, which spans Fort Collins. He is the ranking member of the Local Government Committee, serves as a new member of the Health and Human Services Committee, and a member of the Capital Development Committee. In addition, John serves on the Health Insurance Exchange Oversight Committee, Behavioral Health Transformation Council and the All Payer Claims Database Advisory Committee. From 2009 – 2014 John led the Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force, and served on the Flood Disaster Recovery Committee and the Early Childhood and School Readiness Legislative Commission in 2013 and 2014 respectively. He teaches public policy graduate courses at Colorado State University as an adjunct faculty member. For more information please visit www.johnkefalas.org/biography.