What a great few days!

I just returned from three days of training with Network’s TA Providers who gathered in Salt Lake City with our local affiliate, UROC’s Mark Lundgren playing host.

We shared lessons-learned, worked on improving how property management services meet the needs of resident-owned communities, and worked to improve the purchase process.

We also visited the Parkhill Cooperative in Salt Lake County, a 30-home community purchased by the homeowners in 2011. We heard about their experience including a story about how some of the homeowners and members moved to Parkhill (home and all) from the closed down “Meadows” park nearby. That closure of an investor-owned community displaced more than 150 homeowners.

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That experience makes the benefits of security clear and simple. It certainly was clear to these folks.

Mike Bullard and I made a not-very-brief (as it turned out) presentation on the new ROC Marketing Program, the ROC Association and myROCUSA.org. One member said to me, “It’s great that ROC USA keeps looking out for co-ops.” (“Better Together” is our tag-line for a reason – communities themselves are better together and a network of communities with local and national non-profit support is better together!)

We also met with three Directors of the state homeowners’ association – Utah Manufactured-homeowners Action Group – who are pursuing law changes to improve homeowner protections for those living in investor-owned communities. Their president, Steve Anderson, was quoted in The Salt Lake Tribune article just a day earlier saying, “The only way we’d consider another manufactured home is if we were in a co-op or if we owned the land.”

It was a trip that included three of my favorite things in the world, three dedicated groups of people – co-op leaders, advocates and TA Providers – working to make homeownership and communities more secure.

Being away from home is never easy but when it’s like this, it’s worth it.

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