Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s offer to buy Whitehaven Mobile Home Park accepted

After almost three months of uncertainty, the 70 or so residents of Whitehaven Mobile Home Park have their fears put to rest.

Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s offer to purchase the $3.215 million mobile home park for Whitehaven residents has been accepted, according to a press release on Tuesday, Oct. 25. The property is scheduled to close on November 30th.

In August, residents of Whitehaven were informed that a $3.215 million bid for the property had been accepted from an unknown buyer and that residents had 90 days (amended to 120 days) under the Colorado Mobile Home Park Act days after a change in October). ) to match that offer or risk the uncertainties that come with a new property owner: higher property fees, redevelopment and displacement.

“I don’t know what else to say,” said Jake Dombrowski, a Whitehaven resident who has acted as a liaison between park residents and the housing authority. “I’m just so grateful for this community and the donors who have donated so much money. It really enabled us to do this with the housing authority.”

The park’s purchase was supported by two large anonymous donations to the Routt County Workforce Housing Preservation Fund $750,000 total. These donations paved the way for the Housing Authority to receive funding for the remainder of the $3.215 million offering.

The YVHA plans to own the park as interim administrators and eventually transfer ownership to Whitehaven residents to form a resident-owned community.

Most Whitehaven residents already own their homes but not the land beneath them, so they pay property fees. Ultimately, the residents of Whitehaven will take the loan balance and take official ownership of the Whitehaven property.

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“Once it’s a shared apartment, the principal use of the property rent they pay is to pay off the debt,” said Jason Peasley, YVHA executive director. “So you’re building equity instead of just paying a landlord.”

Peasley said the housing authority will conduct its typical due diligence. He knows there’s a lot of work to be done on Whitehaven’s infrastructure, like connecting the park to the city’s waterfront, but is confident there won’t be any unexpected “skeletons in the closet” to convince the YVHA to withdraw from the purchase.

“I don’t expect there’s going to be anything that would blow up this deal,” Peasley said. “But we also have to approach the matter with open eyes.”

Peasley was keen to share the recognition with Integrated Community, which reached out to the housing authority and helped translate the for-sale ads for the park’s residents who speak English as a second language.

He also thanked the Yampa Valley Community Foundation for setting up the fund that raised these large donations.

“We were all on the same page and immediately did the things we can do to help,” Peasley said. “So it was just a great team effort.”

The Routt County Workforce Housing Preservation Fund remains open for donations, and Peasley hopes donation funds can be used for similar purchases in the future. He believes other mobile home parks in Routt County can be owned by residents, but for less money if negotiations begin before a competing bid is presented.

“When people donate to (the fund), it creates that guaranteed resource that we can use to be more proactive than dealing with an upcoming sale and having to mobilize within 90 or 120 days,” Peasley said.

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Dombrowski said he’s looking forward to getting back to work on some home improvement projects he’s put off to see how things pan out. He’s also looking forward to the coming winter now that he’s sure he’ll be here to enjoy it.

“I got the board and snowmobiles ready,” Dombrowski said.