STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO. — In a special board meeting today, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority (YVHA) voted to make an offer to buy the Whitehaven Mobile Home Park for $3.125 million on behalf of the Whitehaven residents. With two anonymous donations totaling $750,000 and favorable loans, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority has the funds to buy the mobile home park and act as the interim steward while working with the residents to make infrastructure upgrades in the future and transition the park to a resident-owned co-op.
After the residents of Whitehaven Mobile Home Park were informed in August that the owner of the land had a pending offer to purchase the park, many members of the community asked YVHA and Integrated Community, as a trusted community organizations and facilitators, to develop a solution for the 27 households who feared they would lose their homes.
“We are humbled by the generosity of our community to donate $750,000 in funds and allow YVHA access to very favorable loans to make an offer to buy Whitehaven. Our priority is to stabilize the situation for the residents. Long-term, the residents will own their property and land. However, in the meantime, we will apply for grants to upgrade the aging infrastructure including water, sewer, and electricity. We will work with residents every step of the way to ensure that they have healthy, stabile, and affordable homes,” said Jason Peasley, Executive Director of Yampa Valley Housing Authority.
YVHA intends to own and manage the park for an interim period of approximately three years to stabilize the current situation, invest in infrastructure upgrades and then turn the park over to the homeowners via a Resident Owned Co-Op.
“I wanted to say thank you to all of you, going from the potential of losing our homes 45 days ago, to knowing that we can keep our homes and have a future in Steamboat is indescribable. Words can’t describe how grateful we are. I would like to say thank you to everyone,” Jake Dombrowski, Whitehaven Mobile Park resident.
The Yampa Valley Community Foundation has committed to helping with this effort by setting up the Routt County Workforce Housing Preservation Fund. The purpose of the Fund is to preserve workforce housing for residents in Routt County, Colorado. Funds will be used for (1) the purchase of Whitehaven Mobile Home Park or emergency capital improvements at Whitehaven Mobile Home Park; or (2) if Whitehaven Mobile Home Park is sold, then funds will be used for purchase, preservation or emergency capital improvements of other mobile home parks or low-income housing in Routt County, Colorado. Donations can be made here.