At 63rd and Federal Boulevard, just behind Rocky’s Auto, over 400 residents live in an affordable housing community that is not subsidized by taxpayers and provides a stable housing option for families. Changes are already affecting the residents of Pioneer Village Manufactured Home Park who live within a half-mile of the new Clear Creek station of the RTD Gold Light Rail Line scheduled to begin service in the Fall of 2016 with improvements to nearby road infrastructure and trails as well as reports of new mixed use developments in the works. The investment is exciting and they have been involved in some of the long range planning efforts regarding the station but other impacts from investment are concerning for residents and they are working with PlaceMatters to find solutions.
As low-income families they rely on the affordable housing that this manufactured home community provides. They enjoy having four walls to buffer the noise of young kids and they appreciate that they have the freedom to have pets. Many residents have lived in this community for decades and stairs have changed to ramps as their housing has allowed them to age in place.
Yet increasing land values and housing costs have residents concerned. Landowners now have greater incentive to sell properties for new development, displacing low-income residents and disrupting family stability. The Pioneer Village Resident Group recently formed and is working to build residents capacity for self-advocacy and identify solutions to improve long-term stability of this affordable housing asset. To date, residents have elected officers for their group, developed strategic relationships with Regis University and the National Mobile Home Owners Association, visited other manufactured home communities, attended workshops to better understand their rights, and applied for and won a Strengthening Neighborhoods Grant from The Denver Foundation.
The work isn’t done, in the long term residents are looking toward policy and land use solutions to create stability. Residents want some assurance that the investments that they make in homes today will be investments that they will enjoy long into the future.