A grateful adolescent?
On this, our 15th anniversary, you bet!
- Grateful to the thousands of co-op Members and leaders who have chosen and made resident ownership work for themselves, their neighbors, and future homeowners who will benefit from all they’ve done and are doing. We cannot have a housing stock that is speculated on by investors and expect homeowners to come out whole. Affordable housing doesn’t just happen – it takes work and co-ops are doing just that.
- Grateful to the hundreds of current and past staff members and partner organizations – in ROC USA Network and beyond – that have supported a vision of local ownership and control by the homeowners in each neighborhood. These dedicated professionals and organizations could find “easier” work but to a person they, too, are inspired by this self-help co-op solution to an underlying structural problem.
- Grateful to volunteer Directors on the ROC USA® Board of Directors and LLC Members who support ROC USA in so many ways. They’re less visible but in no way less critical to what we are doing.
- Grateful to the co-op leaders who step up beyond their community to support other ROCs – through peer networking, education and public policy. The ROC Association is one of my greatest joys over the last 10 years – it was started in 2013. Thank you to all of the leaders who act on the opportunity to serve other communities – to be a leader in the ROC Movement!
- Grateful to the public officials who are dedicated to community-driven initiatives and see and support actual communities and great neighborhoods. We know we don’t fit nicely in many program boxes but we appreciate your openness to new approaches.
- Grateful to the many industry players – community owners and those in industry that understand the structural issue of owned homes on rented land and are willing to break the mold and show confidence in resident leaders.
- Grateful to the bankers and housing finance authorities who are open to a less conventional owner and community development group and have provided hundreds of millions of dollars in financing.
- Grateful to our very important donors – there are not many but those we have are vital – to supporting the expansion and success of resident-owned communities.
I have the best job in the world. I get to see what’s possible when a small group of people come together and accomplish something both simple and amazing. Not once. Not twice, but hundreds of times a year in new and existing ROCs.
Honestly, in a world that sometimes feels out of control, I am impressed that ROCs operate with a level of consistency that would surprise many people. Yes, the day-to-day bumps, because they’re close to home, can feel big but step back, and celebrate the immensity of what you’re accomplishing.
The security of ownership in 308 communities. The opportunity for improved home values because you control your neighborhood conditions. A connection to neighbors. A chance to change lives for the better. Respect for what you’re doing from people near and far.
Step back. Take a look. And I think you, too, will be grateful. I sure am at 15 years.
Happy 15 years everyone. And here’s to many more!