CONCORD, N.H. — Sixteen Resident Owned Communities (ROCs) received the good news over the weekend that their Better Together Grant applications have been approved, totaling $32,000 in funding for projects that will address member engagement, community improvements, and rebranding needs.
The ROC Association received 36 total applications for the grant program, which awards $2,000 grants to ROCs who demonstrate a compelling need that will benefit their community on one of three areas: member engagement, community improvement, or rebranding.
“It’s such a joy to be able to grant money each year,” said ROC Association Board President Marjory Gilsrud. “We love being able to meet community’s needs and to see their projects come to life.”
“When I made the call to the winning community in the Midwest region, they told me about their rebranding project – they’ll be refurbishing a community sign that dates to the 1960s, updating the painting and repairing all the lights on the sign. I’m excited to see them give a new life to something that’s already there,” added Gilsrud.
In October 2010, the ROC leaders who attended the Community Leadership Institute in Louisville developed a community grants program idea that would both help a fellow ROC as well as engage new leadership in the resident corporation. The ROC USA® Board of Directors has included the grants in the budget since 2011 and has awarded a total of $179,165.96 in funding directly to ROCs.
Keep reading for a preview of each approved grant project.
Animas View MHP Cooperative (Durango, Colo.) – Animas View recently celebrated its one-year anniversary as a cooperative. The community will use funding to purchase new signs for the entrances of the community, reflecting the new community name. Funds will also go toward 15 interior direction signs to help emergency and delivery vehicles locate the appropriate home as quickly as possible.
Bunker Lane Condominium Association (Madbury, N.H.) – Bunker Lane will use funds to make repairs to the community center, which suffered damage due to a leak over the winter. They will install sheetrock and paint the interior to make the meeting house a more inviting place.
C & C Community, Inc. (Billings, Mont.) – C & C will use their Better Together grant to replace a large gate in the community that was recently damaged when a motorcycle ran into it. The gate prohibits traffic from driving through the neighborhood as a shortcut.
Conifer Green Cooperative, Inc. (Kingston, Mass.) – Conifer Green will use funding to purchase 75 homesite signs and one clubhouse address sign to help provide consistency and accuracy to emergency vehicles and delivery drivers. The 38-year-old existing home signs are inconsistent and in disrepair. Additionally, the clubhouse is not visible from the street and does not have signage, so any emergency vehicle called to the community center would have difficulty finding it.
Cranberry Village (Carver, Mass.) – Cranberry Village will use funds to illuminate some common areas of the community. With electricity already in place, the community will set poles and install LED security lights at the entrance and in the parking lot.
Crossroads Cooperative (Great Falls, Mont.) – Crossroads Cooperative will use funds to clean up two home sites that suffered considerable damage and created significant waste due to fire last year, with the ultimate goal of getting them ready for homes so the community can begin collecting lot rent on them again. Crossroads will also contribute up to $10,000 of their operating dollars to complete the cleanup.
Edgeway Homeowners Association (Middleborough, Mass.) – Edgeway HOA will use funds to establish a Lock Box for Seniors program in their community. This program will allow lock boxes to be installed at residents’ homes that are accessible by first responders, so they can enter the home without property damage in the event of an emergency. Edgeway’s goal is to offer the program at no cost to the homeowners.
Filbert Grove Cooperative (Springfield, Ore.) – Filbert Grove will use funds to purchase air conditioners to transform their community center into a cooling center during high-heat weather after experiencing 111-degree temperatures last summer. They will also purchase a few portable air conditioners to put in private homes for those who are unable to access the community center due to mobility limitations.
Forest Park Tenants Association (Jaffrey, N.H.) – Forest Park, who has been a cooperative for 12 years, will use funds to replace two signs that reflect the community’s old name (Forest Park Estates) with their correct name. Their goal is to instill pride in ownership of the community with the new signs.
Hidden Village (Olympia, Wash.) – Hidden Village will use grant funds to pay for a recent safety expense to prevent the general community from using their roads as a pass-through. The community installed a gate that is only accessible by community members and local officials.
LMP Cooperative (Longmont, Colo.) – LMP Cooperative is a predominantly Spanish-speaking community and will use the grant to pay to have its Community Rules and Bylaws translated into Spanish. This translation will support communication equity in the community, create space for more participation and ultimately more available leadership positions.
Missouri Meadows Community (Great Falls, Mont.) – Missouri Meadows will add funding to an additional $5,500 set aside from their capital improvement budget to begin the process of rehabbing an old pump house into a community center to be used for Board meetings and fun community events.
Rivermaze Cooperative (Cañon City, Colo.) – Working with Black Hills Energy, Rivermaze Cooperative will use funds to install hardwired security cameras throughout the community. The purpose of the cameras is to reduce crime within the community.
Sans Souci Cooperative (Boulder, Colo.) – Sans Souci will fund three community programs: a tool share program, a community garden, and a food pantry. The goal is to purchase an electric lawnmower, a weedwhacker, a reciprocating saw, and trimming shears that will be available for use for community members. The purchase of a refrigerator will jumpstart the food pantry.
The Woods Cooperative Association (Little River, California) – WCA will use funds to purchase microphones, a projector and portable screen and a Zoom Pro account to create a hybrid meeting experience that will enable all residents to participate in community meetings and feel comfortable doing so.
Woodlawn Terrace Cooperative (Richfield, Minn.) – Woodlawn Terrace will make electrical and cosmetic repairs to the original sign to their community which was installed in the 1960s. They will hire a contractor to repair and replace the electricity connections that light the sign and will spruce it up with fresh paint and the addition of the word “cooperative.”