Boulder buys mobile home park to provide affordable housing

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BOULDER, Colo. -- City leaders in Boulder are working to stay ahead of soaring rent by paving the way for more affordable housing options.

Part of that effort has included using taxpayer dollars to buy a mobile home park.

Boulder purchased 6.46 acres of mobile home park land at 4475 Broadway for $4.2 million this week. There are 190 people living at Ponderosa Mobile Home Park.

"It's really a blessing," a resident said. "Nobody really wants to move."

The city, promising to keep rent low, said it will improve the area by paving roads, and updating the water and sewer lines from the 1950s.

Simultaneously, officials said they will work to annex the land the city now owns -- land that is still considered unincorporated Boulder County.

"This is an island of the county in the middle of the city," Boulder deputy housing manager Kurt Firnhaber said.

Firnhaber said the effort is a way to allow lower-income people who work in Boulder to also be able to live in the city.

"The city of Boulder wants to maintain diversity within the community," Firnhaber said.

The rent per unit on the newly purchased land is $530 per month. It's not the only affordable option in Boulder, but it is one of a handful of them.

Residents should expect upgrades and new infrastructure starting in 2019, according to city officials.

Most of the money used to buy the land came from a federal flood assistance program, officials said. The area suffered from flooding in September 2013.

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