Rents raise again at Edwards’ trailer park
Although he says he can’t drink the water he gets at his mobile home because it tastes bad, Sergio Alamos’ rent at the Eagle River Village in Edwards will go up again again in 2004.Despite complaints from Alamos and many of the Eagle River Village’s other homeowners about yearly rent increases without service improvements, Colorado Real Estate & Investment Company – which owns the 380-lot park – is raising the rents charged for the spaces the mobile homes are on.Rents are increasing from $675 to $725 for a double home and from $665 to $705 for a single one. Last year, prices at Eagle River Village went up 9 percent.”Before, it was cheaper to live at the mobile park, but rents there have been getting higher and higher and the services provided aren’t good,” said Alamos, 39, who has lived at the Eagle River Village for seven years. When he first moved in, Alamos said he paid $365. This year, he’ll be paying almost double – $705.When Alamos sought an explanation for the continuous increases, he said the company’s management in Denver told him its costs increased.Officials from Colorado Real Estate & Investment Company did not return calls for comment. But in a December 2002 article, Mirko Vukovich, president of Colorado Real Estate and Investment Company, said the company could increase rent over time because the mobile home market is growing.”Rent is the price of a service and all prices for goods and services are based on the overall supply and demand of the market,” Vukovich said.”If there’s a low supply and high demand, the price will go up. The only reason somebody raises prices is because the market allows us to.”Some people at the mobile park are paying $1,200 for a three-bedroom mobile home and the land it sits on. Alamos and other neighbors said if the Eagle River Village owners want to keep raising the rent, they should make some improvements.”It’s getting cheaper to rent a one-bedroom apartment than to live in a mobile home,” said Juan Hernandez, 57, another mobile-home owner who rents space at the Eagle River Village.More than 2,000 people, mostly Hispanics and Latinos, live in the mobile home park.”These people are being taken advantage of,” said Darlene Montano, the Eagle County immigrant community advocate. “It would be nice if (the owners) would lower rents and show some compassion for these underprivileged people.”Some of the Eagle River Village tenants agreed the following are some of the problems at the mobile home park:- The water has no pressure and is undrinkable because it tastes bad.- Traffic on the weekends is heavy.- There’s a problem with trash.- There’s a lack of trees.- The park where the kids play needs upgrades.- Safety measures on the weekends should be improved.If he didn’t own his mobile home, Alamos said he would move to an apartment. More than 90 percent of the people who live at the Edwards’ mobile home park own their mobile homes.”I’d leave if I could sell,” said Jesus Estrada, who has lived in Eagle River Village for 10 years. “I’ve tried to sell it, but nobody wants to buy it. They see how expensive it is to live here.”As tenants cope with the new increases, several said they’re considering moving out.”If we complain,” said Elsa Parra, another tenant at the mobile park, “they tell us, “If you don’t like it, go.'”Veronica Whitney can be reached at (970) 949-0555 ext. 454 or at email@example.com.