“It changed hands, the owners came in with a whole list of rules that kind of changed everything,” Arthur said.
Arthur continued, “They’re talking about bringing us to market rate, which in Golden, I think, is currently over a thousand dollars a month just for park rent.”
Golden Hills Mobile Home Park is just a few blocks from downtown Golden and minutes from Route 6 and Highway 93. According to RentCafethe average rent in Golden is $2,048, about $200/month more than Denver in June 2022.
In June, Arthur said he was paying $795 a month in land rent. Before Harmony bought the park, he was paying $550 a month. Rocky Mountain PBS was unable to independently confirm land rent with Harmony Communities because the company did not respond to our questions.
While the rent increase is one Arthur said he can handle as a human resources manager for a nearby car dealership, it’s much more difficult for many of his neighbors.
Peg Strong owns a home in Golden Hills Mobile Home Park. She told Rocky Mountain PBS that she retired in 2017 and had saved enough money to live there comfortably. But she hadn’t anticipated the rent increases.
“I was trying to find another place to live but I wasn’t having much luck,” Strong said, adding that she’ll have to be very careful with her money to make it last.
Allan Wilkie also lived at Golden Hills Mobile Home Park. He said he lived there for free in exchange for working around the park.
“I had this little house, and it was mine, and now they’ve put the price on me,” Wilkie said.
He and Ken were a team; Ken said they ran the park together for 30 years. When Harmony took over, Ken said the company offered him to stay on as property manager, but Wilkie didn’t.
We reached out to Harmony for a response, but didn’t hear back in time for this story’s publication deadline.
Ken said both men ended up losing their jobs at Golden Hills Mobile Home Park. Luckily Ken has another house in the mountains where he said he would be staying with Allan for the rest of his life – something Ken said is just the right thing to do.
“[It’s] a sense of responsibility to your fellow man, it’s not just about how much can I get from you in this particular month,” Ken said.
Sonia Gutierrez is a multimedia journalist at Rocky Mountain PBS. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org