AURORA | City lawmakers may move to offer the residents of a controversial Aurora mobile home park an unsettled amount of money for being displaced.
Aurora City Council members are slated at their Monday meeting to take up a measure that would allow the city manager the authority to negotiate an agreement with the Denver Foundation to “administer a limited scope grant program concerning displacement at the Denver Meadows Mobile & RV Park.”
It’s not clear how much money that would be, the agenda item does not list a designated amount.
But it is an option the council members have discussed at previous study sessions, following the release of a mobile home task force report last month. Some council members have said they believe it is the city’s duty to aid these families, while others have been concerned about the process of offering aid and how much it might cost the city now and if other parks decide to close in the future.
Denver Meadows is set to close at the end of March, potentially displacing up to 25 families who say they have few options in moving because their mobile homes — which many of the families own — are too old to move, can’t find a park that will accept them or can’t find other affordable options in the metro region.
Working with local housing advocacy group 9to5 and financing group ROC USA, residents of the park have offered the park owner $26 million for the land so that they could keep the park. The owner reportedly declined, saying the land, nestled near the Anschutz Medical Campus just north of East Colfax Avenue and west of I-225, is worth at least double that. Advocates say they offered market value for the land.
Last week, Mayor Bob LeGare said most of his time has recently been spent on the mobile home park and negotiating a solution to keep the families in housing they can afford. LeGare said he’s planning on looking at the land trust model — where people own homes, but the land belongs to a trust — as a potential solution in addition to working on other affordable housing measures.
The city already spends some of its recreational marijuana tax revenue on helping people with avoiding eviction. Staff members say they have attempted to reach out to residents still living in the park about utilizing some of those funds. It’s unclear if any of those funds have yet been used for Denver Meadows residents.
— KARA MASON, Staff Writer