Housing Authority considers buying Whitehaven Mobile Home Park

Cars line the street of the Whitehaven Mobile Home Park Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. The more than 70 residents of the park could soon lose their homes after a developer has made an offer on the west Steamboat Springs property. The Yampa Valley Housing Authority will consider making an offer on the property during a special meeting on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority will consider making an offer on the Whitehaven Mobile Home Park during a virtual special meeting on Thursday, Sept. 22.

The housing authority’s board of directors will meet over Zoom at 11 a.m. to discuss a “resolution to authorize making an offer to purchase Whitehaven Mobile Home Park,” according to the meeting’s agenda.

In August, approximately 70 residents at Whitehaven received notice that the owner of land had received an offer of over $3 million from an unnamed buyer. Knowing what commonly happens to mobile home parks when they sell, community members feared being displaced or having their lot fees increased dramatically.

Because of the Mobile Home Park Act, the Whitehaven residents were given 90 days to make a competing offer on the property.

Upon learning they could be losing their homes, the community at Whitehaven quickly organized to possibly raise the money themselves and become a resident-owned community.

The residents worked with the Yampa Valley Community Foundation to create the Routt County Workforce Housing Preservation Fund, which has been taking donations since early September and includes stipulations that the funds could be used for other mobile home parks or low-income housing in Routt County in similar situations to Whitehaven, meaning that even if the YVHA buys Whitehaven, donations to the fund may roll over to similar causes. 

An amendment to that act provides a right of first refusal for public entities such as the housing authority that goes into effect Oct. 1.

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This wouldn’t be the first time the housing authority has purchased a mobile home park in Steamboat Springs.

In 2007, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority purchased Fish Creek Mobile Home Park for $3.2 million with assistance from the City of Steamboat Springs. Both Whitehaven and Fish Creek mobile home parks have been around since the 1970’s, meaning if the land was redeveloped, most of the units wouldn’t be structurally sound enough to be towed somewhere else. 

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