Seemanta’s affordable housing journey has taken her across three countries. “I came here with one suitcase – a couple pairs of sandals, some sarongs and t-shirts.” After several years of travel from the U.S. to Mexico to India, she has finally found her forever home in the Mapleton Mobile Home Park, in a 1998, 960 square foot trailer, where she has been a resident for 13 years. “A friend of mine told me that she lived in a trailer park in Boulder that had affordable housing. There were maybe five empty lots in the park. A woman in the park had just purchased a new home from a used trailer salesman and they moved it into her lot, so I called the agent and he had a nice trailer in Loveland. It was very easy. I paid $18,000 for it and then it was $3000 to move it here.” Her pension from driving a Boulder Valley school bus has helped her afford the renovations and furniture to make it home. “I renovated the kitchen, the bathroom – everything got renovated – I painted it – it was a big job. I hope it’s over, now I just have maintenance – and that’s a lot.” As many mobile home owners know, finding a handyman/woman who works on our atypical homes can be a challenge and Seemanta was kind enough to share her contact – which I have used and passed along to other neighbors. Despite some maintenance challenges of aging homes, the location of Mapleton Mobile Home Park allows accessing other quality of life resources more manageable. “I had to start with a dish and a knife and a fork and a spoon… I didn’t have a car. It was great to live in a town where you could get around real easily on a bicycle, so for my first year I only had a bicycle.” Although her age has slowed her down a bit, she spoke fondly of YMCA walks through parks and dancing to music downtown.
Her time now is spent largely inside her heated home in the winter and in her garden in the summer, tending to a pollinator’s dream of flowers and fruits, interspersed through stone and brick paths. “Here, we have a real quality of life with our yards and our independence. Thank God I have affordable housing, otherwise I’d be living in a black hole. Let’s hope that places that offer affordable housing and quality living can flourish. The City of Boulder should support the development of more of these places. Because what they are building and calling affordable housing is not so affordable. America has its unique form of stress and anxiety. If you can get affordable housing you can eliminate that.”