Yampa Valley Housing Authority one step closer to owning Whitehaven Mobile Home Park

YVHA will assume management of the park after purchase deal closes Nov. 30

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority expects to close on a deal to buy Whitehaven Mobile Home Park on Nov. 30, with plans to eventually turn ownership back over to residents in the future.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority took a procedural step Thursday, Nov. 10, to create a new entity to facilitate the purchase of Whitehaven Mobile Home Park with community donations and low interest loans.

The housing authority expects to close on the property at the end of the month after its offer to buy the park on behalf of residents was accepted on Oct. 25. The plan is to eventually transfer ownership of the property back to residents.

On Thursday, the board established a new LLC, YVHA Whitehaven Enterprise, a subordinate entity of the housing authority, to assume $2.5 million in loans at a rate of 2.57% used to buy Whitehaven.

The housing authority’s attorney, George Eck, said this is similar to how the housing authority has handled transactions like this in the past.

“My expectation would be that once YVHA no longer owns the park that this would be dissolved,” Eck said, referring to when ownership is eventually transferred back over to residents.

The housing authority stepped in to buy the park after residents learned of a deal to sell the park to an unknown buyer. Because of the Colorado Mobile Home Park Act, residents had the ability to match that offer or face uncertainties that come with the prospects on an unknown buyer like higher lot fees and potential displacement.

Two anonymous donations adding up to $750,000 helped the housing authority pave the way to finance the purchase. Revenues from lot payments will be used to pay the roughly $10,000 a month needed for the loans.

After creating the new entity, the housing authority board convened as the board of YVHA Whitehaven Enterprise and approved a motion for the financing.

Peasley said they actually were able to “over source” for the purchase a bit, so the entity will start with roughly $125,000 in the bank.

“We could have $125,000 plus or minus in the bank day one to deal with any potential trouble with the water system or having to check the sewer system or whatever it is,” Peasley said. “It starts out in a very good financial position.”

Peasley said the housing authority is working to study the status of the infrastructure at Whitehaven. This is part of the due diligence process of buying the property and should be finished up next week, before closing.

“We’re just getting a sense of where the infrastructure is, and if it is going to be able to survive a couple more years until we can get in to do some repairs,” Peasley said. “Like wholesale repairs to the water and sewer. What is the condition of the electric or gas out there? So were working on that.”

Peasley said they will look into what grants or loans could be used for potential infrastructure upgrades, but the scope of what is needed is yet to be seen.

There may be an opportunity to work partner with Steamboat Springs on some of the work after City Council approved funding for improvements at Bear River Park, he added.

“There’s potential opportunity to do kind of like what we did at Fish Creek (Mobile Home Park), which is to partner with the city on the actual capital improvements and package those together to get a better deal for each group,” Peasley said. “We’re starting to have those conversations… to see if there’s an opportunity for that collaboration that can save money for everybody involved.”

On the property management side, Peasley said the housing authority is working to transfer everything over from the current owner so they are ready to assume management of the park after closing on Nov. 30.

Pealsey said they are working on a letter of intent to share with residents of the park that outlines expectations, like how an increase in rent would be made or how park rules could be altered.

“We’re making sure that as we’re going through this we’re being very clear about the expectations,” Peasley said.

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