Great visits

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I just concluded a very good week in the Pacific Northwest where I was able to visit with two ROCs, the Clackamas River Community Co-op in Clackamas, Oregon and Duvall Riverside Village in Duvall, Washington. These are really important communities to protect – both are in growing markets (Portland, Ore. and Redmond, Wash.) with increasing populations and rising housing prices, which spells trouble for affordable homeownership and for MH communities as a general rule.
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But, really, I just love what I hear and see when I’m out and about. People have important questions and want to know who’s in charge of this “unique” organization. And, we continue to evolve as an organization, so I like explaining where we are headed as a network.

I got one poignant question from Liz at Duvall, who really needed to know why I do what I do. If you read my Blog from January 3, you can read about that. And, Erin really needed to know that ROC USA® sticks with the communities we support when it comes to working through issues, in this case, an issue they had with the town. I told her how I feel about our work: We work as hard for a community as the community is willing to work for itself and we stand shoulder to shoulder with ROCs because bottom-line, our interests are aligned. We succeed when our communities succeed.

I was excited to tell both Boards about the packet that they’ll receive in the coming week. The Duvall Board is particularly interested in the ROC Marketing Program. They are putting their website address on their new sign! That’s exactly what you want to do. Everyone driving by should know how to learn more about your community and about for sale homes. On, they can even tag your community and get alerted when houses come up for sale!

From Kelly at Clackamas River, I was really excited to hear him report that, “In my 18 years here, I’ve never seen homes sell as fast as these last three.” One of the buyers was a retiring couple from Texas who bought in CRCC because it was a co-op! They sought out a resident-owned community.

Clackamas is a beautiful community that abuts two MHCs owned by the “big guys”, in this case ELS and Cal-AM. (ELS was started by Sam Zell who is on the Forbes 400 list for the wealthiest Americans. Truth is he made much of his money in “mobile home parks” and today is the country’s largest owner at 140,000 sites, including RV.)

Thank you for two great visits. Congratulations on working through your challenging purchases and first year start-up.

I also attended the Washington state community owners’ meeting and tradeshow. Ben Guss from Northwest Co-op Development Center, our CTAP in Washington, did a presentation with the broker from the Duvall purchase. That broker, Joel Erlitz, seemed genuinely moved to see the homeowners buy it, even delivering a sign to the co-op after the closing that said, “This land is our land. This land is your land.”

Owned locally, supported regionally, and strengthened nationally, ROCs rule.

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