For anyone who grew up in a part of the country that experienced numerous and terrible tornadoes, it always seemed like mobile home parks often took the biggest hits. Why would people live there, I’d hear people say. Well, because those homes are affordable.
In Colorado, “affordable” is now a diminishing situation. Like all of the state, things have changed. Many owners of trailer parks are selling their property to corporate interests, in many cases leading to land rents and utilities skyrocketing, or owners trying to force people out so the land can be redeveloped.
But to learn more about what’s going on, The Colorado Sun has produced an ambitious series titled “Parked: Half the American Dream,” examining the status of these parks. The Sun calls them “the state’s largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing.” And they are going away, leaving low-wage workers, retirees and others without homes. (The title is taken from a quote by a Fort Collins City Council member who said, “It’s like living half the dream.”)
What also is ambitious is that The Sun reached out to numerous other media outlets throughout Colorado to create a sweeping view of the situation. The series started yesterday, but The Sun posted all of the links at the same time, then followed up today with a piece about a new law in Colorado that offers more protection to people who live in mobile home parks.
Media outlets that participated in this major round-up are The Aspen Times, Associated Press, Aurora Sentinel, Colorado Independent, The Colorado Sun, Cortez Journal, Delta County Independent, Durango Herald, Fort Collins Coloradoan, Fox31 KDVR, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Greeley Tribune, KUNC, Montrose Daily Press, Ouray County Plaindealer, and Steamboat Pilot & Today.
The links below lead to the series and today’s story on the new law. The photograph at the top of this post is a detail; the view of a mobile home park in Edwards was credited to AP Photo/Thomas Peipert.