Housing authority to offer ownership at Fish Creek park | SteamboatToday.com

Housing authority to offer ownership at Fish Creek park

Mike Lawrence

According to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, residents of the Fish Creek Falls Mobile Home Park, shown here in Steamboat Springs on Tuesday morning, soon may have the option to purchase the lots where their homes are located.

— Residents of Fish Creek Mobile Home Park could become property owners in a matter of months.

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority has announced its intent to use a $954,000 loan from the city to help fund its $3.2 million purchase of the park. Should that purchase close late next month, the Housing Authority would then offer ownership of lots to residents, a Housing Authority official said Monday. Fish Creek Mobile Home Park includes 68 households on an eight-acre site southeast of downtown Steamboat Springs, near the Yampa River Botanic Park.

“We’ve been working with the city, with the hope that we can pursue conversion to ownership for those homeowners,” said Mary Alice Page-Allen, president of the Housing Authority’s board of directors. “There is a lot of discussion that we want to start having with the homeowners.”

The Housing Authority placed the mobile home park under contract in April.

Page-Allen said the purchase could be finalized Aug. 31, with help from the Steamboat Springs City Council. The City Council has offered the Housing Author-ity $954,000 as a loan that will be interest-free for five years, Page-Allen said. The city received the money – designated for affordable housing uses – as part of an agreement involving the loss of Westland Mobile Home Park, a Fifth Street neighborhood that was demolished in September 2006 to make way for Riverwalk, a multi-building residential and commercial development.

Page-Allen said the Housing Authority plans to finance $2.58 million through Wells Fargo Bank for the Fish Creek purchase. The purchase includes an additional cost of $550,000 to upgrade safety features at the railroad crossing into the park, raising the total purchase price to $3.75 million.

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In the winter of 2005-06, trains struck two vehicles at the crossing. Only minor injuries occurred in both accidents.

Steamboat residents Bob and Audrey Enever have owned the mobile home park since 1975. Bob Enever said in April that after deciding to sell the property, the couple approached the Housing Authority to provide the best solution for tenants.

Page-Allen acknowledged Monday that the price for the Fish Creek site could have been much higher on the open market – and homeowners could have lost out.

Owners of mobile homes often do not own the land beneath their homes, and can lose their plot if a landowner or developer changes the land’s use.

“The Enevers are doing the right thing for their residents,” Page-Allen said.

The City Council was scheduled to conduct a first reading of an ordinance authorizing the loan Tuesday night.