Our Arbordale Acres Mobile Home Park neighbors need our support

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#1

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A view of Arbordale Acres Mobile Home Park where you can see there is plenty of room to park

Landlord Kingsley Management Corporation manages mobile homes across the country and has recently gained media attention for their treatment of tenants who rent the land that their mobile homes sit on. Some tenants have reported as far back as 2012 that the landlord uses intimidation tactics to gain possession of mobile homes. Our own Lafayette’n Tom Macurdy spoke to The Daily Camera about this in 2012.

Citizens in other towns across the country are mobilizing to ask their councils to do something about Kingsley Management Corporation’s actions:

On Tuesday, President of Arbordale Acre’s Mobile Home Park HOA Tom Macurdy spoke for 10-minutes to our local Lafayette City Council in a room packed by mobile home residents about arbitrary fees, rent hikes, questionable water rates, and random rule changes. Lately, our neighbors have come home to find their previously authorized fences ripped out while they weren’t home and their guests harassed by predatory towing practices. See testimony here by fellow Lafayette’ns at the Lafayette City Council Meeting:

If our neighbors lose their mobile homes, there is no replacement they can go to in Lafayette at that level of affordability. We all see the doubling of rent and soaring home prices. Unfortunately, greed for more profits, which are within landlords’ right, are leading to 19th-century Dickens-esque treatment of our most vulnerable population.

The city of Boulder passed legislation last fall protecting mobile home residents from retaliation. Broomfield officials committed to taking action after residents went to Broomfield City Council about the actions by Kinglsey management company there.

State Senator John Kefalas, who has been advocating for mobile home owners, says homeowners need better protections and a better job needs to be done enforcing The Mobile Home Park Act which states that leases “cannot be arbitrary” and “must serve a purpose to protect the safety and welfare of the community.”

Lafayette City Council is clearly concerned and wanting to do something to protect our neighbors in Arbordale Mobile Home Park. As City Manager Gary Klaphake points out the city must operate within the law. The City Attorney will be updating the standing city memo on what the city can do to protect Arbordale mobile home owners. See discussion at the end of the council meeting here:

If you have any information to add or ideas, please add it by replying to this topic in the forum we just started to empower our town. You can also report your experiences with Kingsley Management Corporation to contact7@thedenverchannel.com.


#2

These comments were made in response to this article in Facebook group, Lafayette On The Verge. This was a brilliant move made by the City of Boulder:

After the flood, the City of Boulder entered into a negotiation with the owner of a mobile home park similar to Arbordale to purchase the property, stabilize it, and turn over management to a non-profit (like other properties designated as affordable housing). While we have not experienced a natural disaster in Lafayette - there are parallels in terms of the disaster - the displacement - faced by residents with low-income. Maybe something can be crafted from that model:

https://bouldercolorado.gov/pages/ponderosa-community-stabilization

Here’s another model that Boulder initiated - they created a co-op so that people who owned homes in the mobile park could also “own” the pad.

Here is a non-profit model created by the town of Evergreen in JeffCo:

http://www.athomeinevergreen.org/home.html

It seems to me from the last council meeting that council members really want to do something concrete to protect our neighbors at Arbordale. As things are, hopefully, the council will find ways within the law to crack down on the landlord for overcharging for water, bogus fees, ripping down fences and changing leases and rules. Even so, nothing can stop the landlord from bumping up the rent. What Boulder did as solutions to protect mobile home owners and counterbalance gentrification and increasing rental prices was brilliant. Affordable housing was lightly raised in the council discussion on Tuesday.


#3

Yesterday, members of the mobile home park met with the Lafayette Human Rights Commission about the predatory practices of Kingsley Management Corporation against vulnerable elderly, Hispanic, and financially strapped members of our community. The commission listened intently and asked questions and the members felt heard and respected. Many fear retaliation if they speak out and it took courage for the members who did come to speak for those who couldn’t. I hope to collect stories from members at the park and document them so the public knows what is going on and we can rally support for them. Naturally, it is critical that anonymity is protected.