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Clear Creek County mobile home parks in trouble with skyrocketing rent: "We are in danger of losing it"

Mobile home residents concerned after 4 parks in Georgetown up for sale at same time
Mobile home residents concerned after 4 parks in Georgetown up for sale at same time 02:38

Right now some Colorado residents are fighting tooth and nail to try and remain in their homes, some of which they've lived in for decades in Clear Creek County. 

The county has a collection of four mobile home parks that are up for sale right now. If they sell, new owners or property managers could raise their rents, or try to build on those properties and remove their homes altogether. That being said, those parks are potentially eligible for help from the state or county, if they can find grants to have the county purchase the parks and keep rents low. 

CBS News Colorado talked with several residents from those parks whose hope now rests in the hands of the state, who recently said they are a priority to get help.

Autumn Brooks has been doing a lot of work to organize the troops into one group and get in touch with local and state leaders to get on the radar before the sale happens. She said not just locals, but visitors will notice if this sale goes through with a private developer. 

"We are in danger of losing it, for them, 12% of our housing stock are in these four parks," Brooks explained. "Which would translate to about 15% to up to 25% of our total population in the county."

Autumn Brooks talks to CBS News Colorado reporter Spencer Wilson about the skyrocketing cost of living in her mobile home park.   CBS

For some, it's a question of affordability of even staying in Clear Creek County, with additional real estate pressures from Colorado's Front Range as the market continues to climb. 

Skyler Canfield has lived in the park in Empire for 13 years and said rent has jumped dramatically in the last few years whenever the property changes hands in a sale. 

"It has more than doubled," Canfield said. 

Michael D. Rugg, who also lives in one of the mobile home parks, said the reason he came up here in the first place was the affordability, which is all but gone at this point. He believes a significant part of the county will be missing if this continues to happen. 

"There's a lot of people who live and work here, and they need cheap housing and they just don't have it in this county," Rugg said. "What are they going to do, bring up new trailers from somewhere and put 'em in here?"

Lisa Kunze has lived in the park in Empire as well. She's come to terms with some hard truths in the last few years.  

"I'm turning 60. I will never be able to retire," Kunze said. "I will always have to work unless I'm lucky enough to become disabled."

She said if she starts taking social security in the next two years, she will be left with $600 a month to survive on after rent. 

Clear Creek County previously looked into getting grants to intervene and buy the parks themselves but was denied and has no additional cash to help, as the budget is slowly but surely decreasing due to increasing revenue streams.

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