BIDDEFORD, ME — Charter Oaks Village, one of the newest ROCs in Maine, was recognized as a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable way to live in the state at this year’s Smart Growth Award.
Hosted by GrowSmart Maine, the award ceremony recognizes groups and projects that benefit both the local communities and beyond in Maine. At the Summit, Charter Oaks Village was recognized for the multiple ways this new resident owned manufactured housing community embodied the principles of smart growth, including—how the community’s layout utilized compact building design; made development decisions predictable, fair, and cost effective for residents; fostered a distinctive sense of community and place; and encouraged community stakeholder collaboration in decision making, among other benefits.
“The Charter Oaks Village is an outstanding example of how a community can collaborate in an innovative way to find solutions to securing long term affordable housing,” said Nancy Smith, GrowSmart Maine executive director.
Marcus Baldwin, President of the Charter Oaks Board of Directors, said he and the rest of the Board were grateful for the recognition.
“Since developing the cooperative there is a new sense of community here, people are developing friendships with neighbors they never knew before,” he said. “People here now have a sense that they actually have a say in what happens in our neighborhood instead of just paying rent to someone out of state who doesn’t care about the people living here.”
Ann Lantagne, Board Vice President, agreed.
“Gaining control of our community has been quite an accomplishment,” she said. “Receiving this award was an acknowledgement of all of our hard work to make this possible. The recognition made me feel stronger about the future of our community.”
Jeanee Wright, the Cooperative Housing Specialist at the Cooperative Development Institute who works with the ROC, shared in the pride for the group.
“I am very happy and excited to see the residents of Charter Oaks Village receive this award,” she said. ”The efforts and commitment they have taken to sustain and build a better sense of community in this manufactured housing community is important and rewarding. It definitely deserves recognition.”
Charter Oaks Village became a ROC in June, joining eight other Maine manufactured housing communities supported by CDI and financed by Genesis Community Loan Fund. With over 350 homes in Maine ROCs, they are apart of a national network of nearly 250 communities and 17,000 homeowners.
The award made headlines, read more about the event here.