CONCORD, N.H.—As the nation celebrates National Homeownership Month, ROC USA® has reached a new milestone – 275 Resident Owned Communities nationwide are now working with ROC USA affiliates.
Homeowners in four manufactured home communities purchased the land under their neighborhoods in June to reach the milestone.
In many manufactured home communities, residents own their homes but rent the land beneath them. This makes homeowners vulnerable to rent increases and eviction, especially when ownership of the land changes. By purchasing the property, homeowners are empowered to make major decisions as a unified community.
In a resident-owned community, homeowners each buy one low-cost share and become Members of the cooperative, with one vote per household on matters of the community. They elect a Board of Directors to act on day-to-day issues and vote on larger matters like the annual budget, bylaws and community rules.
On June 22, the homeowners at Sans Souci Mobile Home Park in Boulder, Colo., purchased their community for $3.3 million to become the 275th Resident Owned Community served by ROC USA® Network affiliates.
“People’s skepticism about being able to run a park as residents was prominent in the beginning, but the fact that there’s this whole system set up to learn the business of running a cooperative brought an immense amount of ease,” said Sans Souci’s Interim Board President Michael Peirce.
He added, “ROC USA’s presence and that backbone of support really turns a lot of heads. It allowed us to convince others – funders, other potential supporters, that there’s actually a system in place to help residents do it and do it well.”
ROC USA launched in 2008 to take the decades of successful work by the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund to national scale. Founding President Paul Bradley said the work has remained singularly focused since the beginning – making resident ownership viable nationwide through a system of integrated financing and technical assistance.
“With more than 70% of Americans believing the economy is rigged against them, it is no surprise that homeowners are taking ownership of the land when presented the opportunity,” Bradley said. “I am proud of the work of Thistle Communities, the national team, and the community leaders and Members for making resident ownership a reality.”
In addition to Sans Souci, Animas View Manufactured Home Park Co-op in Durango, Colo., purchased its community for $14 million on June 17. In Washington, Royal Coachman Homeowners Cooperative and Quail Run Homeowners Cooperative became resident-owned on June 9 and 10, respectively.
Nationally, 18,790 homes have been secured as permanently affordable through resident ownership. On average, resident-owned communities raise site fees less than 25 percent of the industry average and use monthly site fees to invest in community improvement projects and repairs, instead of profits going to a commercial owner.
ROC USA Network is made up of 12 regional Certified Technical Assistance providers, who provide pre- and post-purchase technical assistance to resident corporations, currently serving ROCs in 18 states.
ROC USA (rocusa.org) is a non-profit social venture with a national network of 12 organizations and a national financing source for resident corporations. ROC USA® is sponsored by NeighborWorks® America, Capital Impact Partners, Prosperity Now, and the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. The Community Loan Fund, a non-profit community development financial institution in New Hampshire, leveraged its experience with 90 resident-owned communities at the time to launch ROC USA with national partners in May 2008. All told, ROC USA Network has helped 275 communities preserve 18,790 homes in 18 states.