Steamboat Springs After closing on its $3.2 million purchase of the Fish Creek Mobile Home Park two weeks ago, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority has turned its sights to future plans for the park.
At a meeting Thursday, the Housing Authority's board of directors appointed a subcommittee to oversee the park's operations, improvements to its railroad crossing and efforts to convert the park's lots into ownership units. Mobile home owners usually do not own the land beneath their homes, but the Housing Authority hopes to change that for Fish Creek residents.
Tom Palmer, who managed the park under previous owners Bob and Audrey Enever, will continue to manage it for the Housing Authority. Board member Nancy Stahoviak said Palmer was invited to the board meeting so members could meet him.
"He did a good job for the Enevers and there's no reason to think he won't do a good job for us," Stahoviak said.
Palmer is not paid a salary as the park's manager, but lives there rent-free. Palmer also will serve on the Housing Authority's subcommittee for the park, along with two other park residents.
"The importance of having two residents and Tom Palmer on the committee is to really work with them to come up with a plan that is embraced by a sizable majority - at least - of residents," subcommittee chairman Towny Anderson said, referring to the park's transition to ownership lots.
The Housing Authority has an obligation to the city of Steamboat Springs to work with owners to convert their lots to ownership units. That stipulation is part of a $954,000 loan the city provided - at a zero-interest rate for five years - to help fund the Housing Authority's purchase of the park. Housing Authority officials have said no one will be evicted if they decide not to convert to an ownership unit.
Anderson said mobile home park conversions have been done before.
"There are lots of precedents for this - very successful conversions," Anderson said. "We won't be reinventing the wheel."
Also at Thursday's meeting, the board ratified a $7,000 grant it received from the Colorado Association of Realtors Housing Opportunity Fund to help cover its cost of acquiring Fish Creek Mobile Home Park.
The board also discussed its continuing search for an executive director. Former director Elizabeth Black resigned in June. The Housing Authority is advertising for the position for a second time. Stahoviak said the board is waiting for applications to come in. If this round of recruiting is unsuccessful, Stahoviak said the Housing Authority may hire a search company to aid its efforts.
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