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Residents in mobile home park try to buy the property

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Residents of Meadowood Village in Littleton said a Utah-based company made an $18 million offer on their park in January.

LITTLETON, Colo. — For all 92 homes with more than 100 residents, people at the Meadowood Village mobile home park said they live in a picture-perfect neighborhood.

“There’s always someone to help you, cut your branches down,” Sharry Diquinzio said. “It’s just a great place to live.” 

At one point earlier this year, the future of the park was uncertain. Diquinzio explained a buyer out of Utah made an offer on the park in January. She said she knew she had to organize an action plan in response.

“From the get-go, it was like, ‘Okay, we have to mobilize. We have to do something about this. We can’t sit around and wait for this predatory organization to come in and tell us our rent is going to be 1,500, 1,600 dollars,'” Diquinzio said.

With enough community support, Diquinzio helped lead the Meadowood Cooperative. Sandy Cook is on the board of directors as the operations manager.

“When we found out the park was for sale, then it was when everybody came together,” Cook said.

Cook said the notice of the sale took her by surprise. She has lived in the park for two years and couldn’t imagine the potential of being priced out. She knows she wouldn’t be the only one forced to leave.

“We’re a 55+ park which means everyone is over 55,” Cook said. “We got veterans, we got disabled, low income. I wouldn’t be able to afford it. I just wouldn’t. A lot of people wouldn’t.”

Cook’s role on the board has been to maintain constant communication with the city of Littleton, Arapahoe County and nonprofits. She said Thistle, a nonprofit dedicated to housing affordability, has been one of the organizations she’s had on speed dial.

“We felt if we didn’t purchase the park, we were going to lose a lot of our residents because they would not be able to afford the rent that we know it would go up to,” Cook said.

Arapahoe County said it offered $50,000 to the co-op, and the city of Littleton provided $25,000 for purchasing resources and information from Thistle. Cook said the rest of the money required to prove interest came from loans.

“We had numerous meetings with the city of Littleton,” Cook said. “I think 60 of our residents appeared in front of the city of Littleton council. The mayor said it was one of the most attended meetings he had ever seen.”

The co-op raised enough money to go under contract with the current owners on July 2. But the fight isn’t over.

“We got 60 days to raise $4 million,” Cook said. “That’s where we’re at right now.”

“The $4 million is the difference between an unmanageable rent for over 50% of this park to a manageable rent for people who are 90-something years old and don’t have to sweat when it comes to paying rent next month,” Diquinzio added.

Diquinzio and Cook said 60 days is the deadline for the financial commitment to purchase the park. They said $4 million is needed to keep rent near what residents are currently paying. The less money they raise, the more they’ll have to seek in loans which will ultimately mean higher rent.

“All I can say is I’m working as hard as I can,” Diquinzio said.

The co-op hopes to get $4 million from grants and donations. To make up the rest of the money to purchase the park, they plan to seek support from Thistle and the Department of Local Affairs. The total cost of the park is $18 million.

“I am confident we are going to buy the park one way or another and it’s just going to come out to the bottom line is the buck,” Diquinzio said. “What it’s going to cost us.”

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Residents in mobile home park try to buy the property
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