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Preserving Affordable Housing: The Rise of Resident-Owned Mobile Home Communities in Colorado

Mobile home communities, once relegated to the fringes of society, are undergoing a transformation in Colorado, becoming a beacon of affordable housing in the face of rising living costs. Instead of relying on corporate landlords, residents in these communities are taking ownership of their homes and the land they stand on, creating a sense of stability and financial security.

A New Model for Affordable Housing

In a state where housing affordability is becoming increasingly elusive, resident-owned mobile home communities offer a glimmer of hope. These communities consist of manufactured homes situated on leased land, traditionally owned by private companies. However, a growing number of these communities are transitioning into resident-owned cooperatives, where the residents collectively own the land under their homes.

This innovative model has several key advantages. First and foremost, it stabilizes housing costs, insulating residents from volatile market fluctuations. Residents who own both their homes and the underlying land pay a monthly lease payment to the cooperative instead of a private landlord. These payments are typically lower than traditional rent, providing substantial savings over time.

Empowering Communities through Ownership

Beyond financial benefits, resident ownership fosters a sense of community empowerment. By managing their own affairs, residents gain control over their living environment, making decisions that directly impact their quality of life. They can prioritize maintenance, improvements, and amenities that align with their shared values.

This shared responsibility builds a sense of collective ownership and stewardship. Residents feel a greater connection to their homes and community, knowing that they have a direct stake in its success. It also promotes engagement and participation, as residents are vested in the long-term well-being of their community.

A Model for Sustainability and Equity

The rise of resident-owned mobile home communities in Colorado represents a sustainable and equitable approach to housing. By reducing reliance on corporate landlords and stabilizing housing costs, these communities contribute to long-term affordability in the face of rising urban living costs.

Furthermore, the emphasis on resident ownership promotes social inclusion and diversity. Unlike traditional mobile home parks, where residents often face discrimination or displacement, resident-owned communities provide a safe and stable environment for people from all backgrounds.

A Call for Supportive Policies

As the popularity of resident-owned mobile home communities grows, it's crucial to adopt supportive policies that encourage their formation and sustainability. Local governments can play a significant role by providing financing assistance, zoning regulations, and other incentives to facilitate the transition to resident ownership.

Additionally, state and federal policies can support these communities through tax breaks, funding for infrastructure improvements, and legal protections against predatory practices. By fostering an environment that prioritizes resident ownership, policymakers can empower low- and moderate-income families to build wealth and achieve lasting housing stability.

Case Study: Gateway Mobile Home Park

One notable example of a successful resident-owned mobile home community is Gateway Mobile Home Park in Westminster, Colorado. Established in 1959, Gateway was initially owned and operated by a private corporation. However, in 2017, the residents banded together to purchase the park, forming the Gateway Resident Cooperative.

Since taking ownership, the residents have made significant improvements to the community, including upgrading infrastructure, expanding amenities, and implementing sustainability initiatives. The stability and affordability provided by resident ownership have created a thriving and vibrant community, where residents feel a deep sense of belonging and pride.


Resident-owned mobile home communities are emerging as a powerful tool for addressing the affordable housing crisis in Colorado. By empowering residents to own their homes and the land they stand on, these communities stabilize housing costs, foster a sense of community, and promote social equity. With continued support from policymakers and community organizations, resident-owned mobile home communities can play a vital role in ensuring that everyone has access to a safe and affordable home.

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