DURANGO, Colo. (KRQE) – No landlord? No problem. Residents in a popular mountain town joined together to purchase their mobile home park. It’s an unsual movie that has brought them a sense of stability and community. It’s the home of a million-dollar view without the million-dollar price tag. “If it were not for the Animas View Mobile Home Park and the rent that we pay here, we wouldn’t be living in Durango. We couldn’t afford it,” said John Egan of Animas View Mobile Home Park (MHP) Cooperative.

However, corporation after corporation kept buying the mobile home park in Durango where both Egan and Karen Pontius live — going from $490 to $825 a month in a few short years. “The three corporate owners we had, were predatory, so they were just raising the rent,” Pontius said.

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“There are people who have lived here 20, 30, 40 years who all of a sudden were facing increases in rent that were going to force them to have to go somewhere else. The question is where do you go after that?” said Egan.

Just before Christmas 2020, the picturesque mobile home park hit the market again. A recently passed Colorado state law required the owners to give the current tenants a chance to put together an offer and buy the land their homes sit on. “If we did not do it this time… we would never have the opportunity to do it again,” Egan said.

Hoping to stabilize the rent, Egan and Pontius rallied the residents to form a co-op, applied for a number of zero and no-interest loans, and to the shock of many, were able to pull together the asking price of about $14 million. “We didn’t think we were doing anything historic, we just thought we were trying to buy the park but I think it has turned out being a historic event for Colorado and one — I think is going to set a precedent in our state and maybe throughout the west,” Egan said.

Affordable housing experts say dozens of other tenants have tried to buy their land but the Animas View MHP Co-Op is one of only two to succeed. Now, coming up on a year of ownership, people feel like they can finally settle into the place they’ve called home for decades. “There’s a sense of permanence. There’s a sense of ownership and there’s a sense of pride that we did not have prior to purchasing the park,” said Egan.

There are a number of non-profits helping other tenants try to buy the land their rentals sit on. Angela Romeo is the national acquisitions and project manager at ROC USA Network and can be reached at 603-545-1704 or by email at aromeo@rocusa.org for more information.