The Department of Local Affairs Celebrates National Homeownership Month

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Media Contact: Chynna Cowart | 303-656-7464

In celebration of National Homeownership Month, the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) highlights the paramount significance of expanding homeownership opportunities for Coloradans. Homeownership not only plays a pivotal role in fostering stable communities but also serves as a cornerstone of economic growth and personal financial security. 

Recognizing the immense value of homeownership, the State is committed to empowering individuals and families in Colorado to achieve their dreams of owning a home, ensuring a brighter future for all residents of the Centennial State.

“Homeownership plays a vital role in the stability and cohesion of communities. When families have a place they can call their own, it instills a sense of pride, belonging, and commitment to the neighborhood. Homeowners are more likely to invest in their properties, engage in civic activities, and contribute to the overall well-being of the community,” said Rick Garcia, DOLA Executive Director 

By promoting homeownership opportunities, the Department aims to strengthen the fabric of Colorado by encouraging residents to establish deep roots, forge lasting connections, and actively participate in the development and enhancement of their local communities.

Homeownership Programs Within the Department of Local Affairs
The Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMAP)

In March 2021, the United States Treasury’s Homeowners Assistance Fund was established under Section 3206 of the American Rescue Plan Act to help mitigate financial hardships associated with the coronavirus pandemic by providing funds to eligible entities. In October 2021, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), through its Division of Housing (DOH), established the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMAP) to disburse the State of Colorado’s allocation of federal funds.

The Program uses federal Homeowner Assistance Funds to help homeowners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, get caught up on past-due housing/mobile home payments, property taxes, lot rent, insurance and housing utilities. This program serves as a lifeline for Coloradans who are struggling to make their mortgage payments due to unexpected financial hardships, such as job loss or medical emergencies. By providing crucial support by offering financial assistance to eligible homeowners, the Program aims to keep Coloradans housed by helping them stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure.

Chattel (Mobile Home) Loan Assistance

EMAP aims to prevent the loss of homes and stabilize communities by ensuring that families can maintain a safe and secure living environment, even in times of economic uncertainty.

Amidst the soaring housing costs and housing affordability crisis, mobile homes stand out as the largest naturally occurring affordable housing option in Colorado. Often, traditional mortgage products are not an option for these homes and homeowners must obtain a chattel loan.  Chattel loans are loans for manufactured homes or other movable pieces of personal property, such as machinery or a vehicle, and often have much higher interest rates than traditional mortgage products. The movable property, called “chattel,” also acts as collateral for the loan.

Recently, the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) expanded the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMAP) eligibility to include chattel loan assistance. This program can assist homeowners by paying down or paying off mobile home financing, allowing for the transfer of title and/or enabling the refinance of loans to reasonable market rates. The new expanded eligibility will result in the preservation of naturally occurring affordable housing throughout Colorado while helping homeowners achieve housing stability. In addition to chattel loan assistance, the program also offers assistance with lot rent.

“Mobile homes account for the largest number of naturally occurring affordable housing options in the state, while offering an accessible pathway to homeownership for thousands of Coloradans,” said Melissa Nereson, Office of Housing Recovery Manager.

Their affordability opens doors to homeownership for those who might otherwise find themselves locked out of the traditional housing market. The expansion of the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMAP) to include this vital population of homeowners will ensure housing stability and ongoing affordability.

The Mobile Home Park Oversight Program (MHPOP)

We know the need for more housing for every Colorado budget. With over 730 mobile home parks in the state of Colorado, affordable mobile home ownership holds immense significance in today's housing landscape, providing a viable pathway to homeownership for many individuals and families. Mobile homes, also known as manufactured homes, offer an affordable housing option that can often be more attainable than traditional site-built homes. With rising housing costs and limited affordable housing options, mobile homes provide an opportunity for individuals to build equity, gain stability, and achieve the dream of homeownership.  

Following the Mobile Home Park Act and Mobile Home Park Dispute Resolution and Enforcement Program, the Mobile Home Park Oversight Program (MHPOP), within DOLA, has jurisdiction over disputes between manufactured home owners renting lot space in mobile home parks, and the management or ownership of the community. This Program can be utilized to and is responsible for: 

  • Conducting outreach and education on mobile home park laws;
  • Registering all mobile home parks annually;
  • Receiving and investigating complaints;
  • Facilitating dispute resolution between mobile home owners and mobile home park landlords;
  • Determining whether violations of the law have occurred and taking enforcement actions; and
  • Engaging in public rulemaking to clarify the law.

In the goal of maintaining homeownership, DOLA invites mobile home owners, mobile home park owners, and mobile home park managers to submit complaints for dispute resolution through the Division as an alternative to going to court. An individual’s mobile home is typically their greatest financial asset, and despite the name “mobile home,” these types of homes are not easily or cheaply moved. This leaves mobile home owners vulnerable if a dispute arises with their landlord, and is a reason why the Mobile Home Park Oversight Program (MHPOP) was created.

“Manufactured housing communities provide vital affordable housing in communities across Colorado.  By working with mobile home park landlords and mobile homeowners to resolve disputes, MHPOP helps prevent evictions and improve communities,” said Christina Postolowski, Mobile Home Park Oversight Program Manager.

Affordable mobile home ownership empowers individuals to become part of a vibrant community while enjoying the benefits of homeownership, such as the ability to personalize their living space and build long-term wealth. Homeownership is key to building generational wealth and increasing those opportunities for Coloradans is important to ensuring that Colorado remains one of the best places to live and work.

By offering timely and targeted assistance, through services like the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMAP), chattel loan (mobile home) assistance, and the Mobile Home Park Oversight Program (MHPOP), DOLA strives to alleviate financial burdens and provide peace of mind to homeowners across Colorado.

DOLA Housing Programs

Apply for Emergency Mortgage Assistance

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