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Voices from the Mapleton Mobile Home Park

Posted: April 28, 2016 at 3:19 pm by , in A Public Affair, Breaking News, Featured

“After years of renting I’m grateful to be able to own my own home…and have my own garden.”

Residents of mobile homes often have fewer rights than residents in brick and mortar homes.  This is due to the fact that they may own their home, but they don’t own the land that it sits on, making them vulnerable to increasing rents.  The Mapleton Mobile Home Park in Boulder is an exception to this.  Intervention by the city of Boulder in the 1990s lead to the creation of a co-op, so the residents of the park own the land.  The Mapleton Mobile Home Park is now one of the most affordable places to live in the city.  KGNU volunteer Jennifer Cornell recently purchased her very first home.  She says that the park has opened up the possibility of home ownership to her and has given her a sense of security.

Image: Jennifer Cornell recently moved to the Mapleton Mobile Home Park. This is the first chance she’s ever had to buy her own home. “I know I’ll always be able to live here even on my fixed income.”

“Moving here has given me independence and security. After years of renting I’m grateful to be able to own my own home…and have my own garden. I have my beehive…I have my worm bin…It’s freedom…. For the first time I live somewhere where I feel comfortable and safe.  And I know I’ll always be able to live here even on my fixed income.”

Jennifer has gotten to know some of her neighbors in the park including Mark Reeder, who has lived there for 30 years. He has seen many changes over the 3 decades he has lived there.

“Its biggest change has been from a private ownership by the original owner Lou Nuttle to ownership by Thistle Communities. That transfer happened in 2004.  There was an interim owner which was the city of Boulder from 1997 to 2004, so that ownership is the biggest change.”

Reeder says the city played a huge role in the park.  “When they purchased the park from Lou Nuttle in 1997, they did so for two reasons, one was to put in the Goose Creek flood project which runs through the park and which was an excellent project.  It protected all of the homes in the park from the 2013 flood. But the other reason was to create a low to moderate income housing development for Boulder and to add as many as 125 homes to that housing stock.  They bought the park with this intention.”

Tom Lewis has lived in Boulder for 23 years but the park has been the first chance he’s had to afford to buy a home.  Lewis has been a park resident for 7 years “it’s the first place that I’ve had of my own that I’ve bought and could afford and I love it here.”  His trailer was designed and built by the CU architecture department “they took an existing old funky trailer and they tore it down to the chassis and then rebuilt it to their own design.”

Gene Langlois has lived in the park since 1981.  He spends a lot of time working in his garden.  “That has been a spiritual part of my life. As all of us, we go through stresses and trials as we grow and age.  Something about that garden…I would go out in the morning and I would put my hands in the dirt, and turn something over, and I would become totally one with the shovel, with the dirt.”

 

Gene Langlois has lived in the park since 1981. He spends a lot of his time in the garden which he describes as a spiritual experience.  “I would go out in the morning and I would put my hands in the dirt, and turn something over, and I would become totally one with the shovel, with the dirt.”

 

Gene Langlois has lived in the park since 1981. He spends a lot of his time in the garden which he describes as a spiritual experience.  “I would go out in the morning and I would put my hands in the dirt, and turn something over, and I would become totally one with the shovel, with the dirt.”