September 7, 2017 • by Sue Postema Scheeres
Manufactured homes, often referred to as mobile homes, are one of the few affordable housing options in Boulder. However, owners of these homes face many challenges because they don’t own the land beneath their feet.
At an upcoming community engagement coffee hour, CU Boulder faculty and staff as well as community groups that work with manufactured home residents will discuss current issues facing these homeowners and ways that university resources can provide support.
CU Engage and the Office for Outreach and Engagement are co-sponsoring the event, which will be held Sept. 21 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the outdoor Tree X Office, located off Kittredge Loop Drive on the field between Kittredge West and the Fleming Building. Rain location is the School of Education, Rm. 346.
These coffee hours are held the third Thursday of each month, and bring together faculty, staff and students who are new or experienced in community engagement work. Attendees are welcome to drop in for five minutes or the whole time to connect with others and build community, and there is time to mingle before and after the focused-topic discussion.
The following community experts and CU Boulder researchers will speak:
Ishbel Dickens, a nationally recognized expert on manufactured housing issues and consultant to the city of Boulder
Community members from manufactured home sites in Boulder
Jennifer Fluri, Department of Geography, Boulder Affordable Housing Research Initiative
Brian Muller and other faculty affiliated with the Community Engagement Design and Research Center (CEDaR)
Mara Mintzer and Cathy Hill, Growing Up Boulder
Jeff Motter, BoulderTalks
Dickens said that because manufactured homeowners own their home but not the land under it, they are prisoners in their own homes and may be vulnerable to illegal and egregious practices by out-of-state landlords.
“Access to university resources could make a huge difference to these homeowners as they work to establish peaceful, livable, sustainable communities while maintaining housing affordability, and ensuring reasonable legal protections to safeguard their living situation,” said Dickens, a lawyer with 30 years experience advocating for manufactured home residents.
She added that all are welcome to a community forum on Oct. 21 at CU Boulder that will seek to organize a statewide manufactured homeowners’ association.
CU Engage and the Office for Outreach and Engagement (OOE) connect scholarly research, teaching and creative work with communities throughout Colorado and beyond. OOE provides leadership, advocacy and support for public outreach and community engagement across campus units through university-community partnerships, consultation services, funding and strategic initiatives that meet public needs. CU Engage is CU Boulder's Center for Community-Based Learning and Research and works collaboratively with community groups to address complex public challenges through academic courses, research projects and social justice programs.
For more information about the coffee hour, contact Lisa H. Schwartz, community program manager for the Office for Outreach and Engagement.