Julie Eades spent 36 years as the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, where she championed resident ownership and helped build a program that helped 130 manufactured home communities transition to resident ownership. In this conversation, Julie walks us through the history of resident ownership in New Hampshire and nationally, and shares some of her favorite stories from cooperatives and cooperative leaders.
Podcast: Ownership Matters
Episode: How It All Began
ROC USA, started in 2008, works with resident owners in manufactured home communities.
0:26 Host introductions
Paul Bradley, president of ROC USA, has worked with resident-owned homes since 1988 and is joined by co-host Mike Bullard, Communications Manager at ROC USA since 2012. They explain that this podcast will highlight the stories of people at the heart of the resident-ownership movement.
1:05 Guest speaker, Julie Eades, introduction
Julie Eades joins Paul and Mike to discuss her pioneering the ROC movement. She has recently retired as the President and Founding Executive Director of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, providing loans for people who need affordable home loans, quality jobs, childcare, and financial independence. She is the recipient of the Granite State Award from the University of New Hampshire, Outstanding Woman of Business from New Hampshire Business Review, the Episcopal Bishops Award for Humanitarian Service, and named winner of the 2012 Ned Graham Lifetime Achievement Award for Responsible Finance from the Opportunity Finance Network.
2:20 The first New Hampshire ROC in 1984
Julie describes the first New Hampshire ROC in 1984 and the role the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund played in that. She explains that the NHCLF was formed on the belief that: people don’t have access to capital and there is capital out there that would go to basic local human needs if there was a way to do that. Julie tells the story of 13 families living in an updated mobile home community in NH which came up for sale and there was no legal protection for residents being evicted in 30 days for renovation of the land. The NHCLF assisted these families in setting up the first cooperative, so they could buy the land and keep their homes, which immediately led to home improvements because they felt a real sense of ownership over the land. 36 years later, they have no debt and low lot rates.
7:02 Skepticism around community ownership
Julie discusses how there was no confidence in resident ownership when they first began, but then homeowners started investing in their properties and homes. She talks about the systemic problem of land insecurity and lack of control over home stability, so the NHCLF began publicizing cooperative ownership. She was involved in a four-year effort to pass a NH law that gave homeowners the right to know their land is being sold and to negotiate.
9:19 Bank financing
Julie describes that much of the stigma around these communities are factors outside the control of the homeowners. Bank financing has become more feasible because of the success of NH ROCs.
11:42 One person who best represents home ownership
Julie discusses her admiration of the Meredith Center co-op, as well as of Florence, the original co-op leader for the first co-op Julie assisted in purchase, who represented steady, patient leadership. Lois modeled democratic leadership and respected her. Kim perfected the idea of building community which builds success.
14:48 Story of man who grew up in a co-op
Julie shares a story about how the NHCLF changed the trajectory of his life through the stability, security, and pride in knowing his family wouldn’t have to move.
16:53 Success of ROC in New Hampshire led to success of ROC USA
Julie describes how Paul Bradley was influential in taking the initiative to create ownership options for homeowners nationally.
18:27 Paul Bradley explains NH leadership has been crucial for ROC USA
He discusses how ROC is now in 18 states around the country.
19:29 What is the future of resident ownership?
Julie discusses the possibilities of ROC USA in the future, such as affordable broadband, disaster recovery plans, and home improvements. She would also like to see the financing of single family homes as a norm once land is secure.
21:27 What advice would Julie give to her early professional self?
She explains that better resources (technology, staffing, etc.) would add to the speed at which co-ops could improve.
23:12 What is surprising to Julie?
Julie talks about the idea that people don’t recognize the invisibility of mobile home owners.
24:11 Concluding thoughts
Learn more about ROC USA through our website.
Thoughts? Questions? Stories? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.