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Durango mobile home residents fear displacement after landlord puts property up for sale

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DURANGO, Colo. — Mayra Judith Gallardo Loya has been living in Westside Mobile Home Park in Durango, Colorado for six and a half years. She moved to the park after the first mobile home park she lived in was sold and turned into a Goodwill.

In tears, Gallardo explained how difficult and stressful the first displacement was. She was pregnant at the time, had to live out of a hotel room with no kitchen to cook in and had to pay for a dog sitter because the hotel didn’t allow pets. Ultimately, she lost her baby to a miscarriage.

Now, Gallardo finds herself in a similar situation, pregnant and facing the possibility of displacement by a park sale. About three months ago, Gallardo and residents at Westside received notice that their neighborhood was going up for sale.  

Colorado Voices

Westside Mobile Home Park's listing has residents nervous

Mobile homes are different from single family homes in that residents usually do not own the land beneath their homes, even if they own the house itself. The lots are rented out by a landlord.

Elevation Community Land Trust put in an offer to buy the mobile home park on behalf of the residents Tuesday, March 15. That $5.56 million offer from the residents was denied, but the park’s landlord didn’t close the door completely.

In a letter to Elevation, Benjamin M. Goldberg, the landlord’s lawyer, wrote, “due to material differences between the offers, specifically financing and timelines, Westside cannot accept the residents’ offer.” He listed several reasons for the denial, comparing Elevation’s offer to another offer already on the table. The list detailed that the other offer is a cash payment, closes a month and a half sooner, has no financing or appraisal contingency and provides a shorter due diligence period.

The letter ended with this line: “Westside is still willing to work with your organization and will review any offer submitted prior to the expiration of the Opportunity to Purchase on March 27, 2022.”

Residents and organizations are using that window of time to try to make Elevation’s offer stronger.

The residents are selling tacos, pozole, champurrado, chilindrinas and even started a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $25,000 as of March 24. The GoFundMe is titled “Westside necesita un milagro!” — Westside needs a miracle.

The money raised will go towards the offer to buy the property.

Elevation Community Land Trust is in the process of collecting grants and loans to make a cash offer. They have already secured a $535,000 contribution from Local First Foundation. Their plan is to present a cash offer then work on the backside to pay some of those off. Right now, time is of the essence.

“That is our plan to exactly match all those things [on the rejection letter], so they have no reason to justifiably reject our offer,” said Stefka Czarnecki Fanchi, president and CEO of Elevation Community Land Trust.

“If they do accept the offer there’s going to be an ongoing amazing story. If they don’t accept the offer there will also be follow-up,” Czarnecki Fanchi added.

This week, as the deadline to make another offer on Westside approaches, Gallardo started feeling contractions.

“I want the landlord to touch his heart and to see that this isn’t just about money, we are real families wishing for our dream to come true,” Gallardo said, “this fear, this sadness we’re all feeling — we want it to go away.”

She plans to move if the park isn’t sold to the residents. She fears another move could be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of her newborn.

Rocky Mountain PBS reached out to the landlord, but has not heard back.


Sonia Gutierrez is a multimedia journalist at Rocky Mountain PBS. You can reach her at soniagutierrez@rmpbs.org

Bean Yazzie is a multimedia journalist at Rocky Mountain PBS, based in Southwest Colorado. You can reach them at beanyazzie@rmpbs.org.

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