Resident Owned Communities
What is a Resident Owned Community (ROC)
A resident-owned community is a manufactured home community that is owned by a group of the residents who live in the community. Resident homeowners form a corporation to own and operate the community, with each member-household owning one membership interest in the corporation. The corporation is democratically managed – one home, one vote – and the day-to-day operations are overseen by a member-elected Board of Directors.
The resident-ownership model was developed thirty years ago by the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, who has successfully helped over 100 manufactured home communities in their state become resident-owned. ROC USA® was created in 2008 to make this model available nationwide. Now over 150 manufactured home communities across the country are owned and operated by the residents.
Why Resident OwnershipWithout resident ownership, homeowners face many risks: deferred maintenance, higher land rents and, worst of all, eviction when a community is closed due to conversion to other uses. Resident-ownership preserves affordable housing, reduces the economic insecurity homeowners in these communities typically face, and puts low-income homeowners in control of their futures. Resident ownership creates:
- rent stability and affordability
- resident control over maintenance and repairs
- security for residents knowing the community will not be closed
- improved individual and community health and welfare
- increased community safety
- increased skills and leadership of residents
- increased resale value of homes
In 2003, a study by Consumer Union concluded that, generally, manufactured or “mobile” homes in communities or “parks” tend to depreciate over time. Two of their recommendations of ways homeowners could curb depreciation were to gain control of the land, and to get access to more conventional, fixed-rate home financing. Resident-owned communities have demonstrated that resident-ownership improves financial security for homeowners.
ROC USA® Certified Technical Assistance ProviderNeighborWorks Montana has been a ROC USA® Certified Technical Assistance Provider since April of 2010. ROC USA® and its affiliate, the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, are non-profit organizations with over 25 years of experience combining expert technical assistance with specialized purchase financing for resident corporations. Not one of the more than 150 communities assisted by ROC USA® Network members has ever defaulted on their community purchase financing, which speaks to the strength of this model and these communities.
As a member of the ROC USA® Network, NeighborWorks Montana is one of eight organizations across the country that helps residents accomplish the following:
- negotiate for the purchase of their manufactured home community
- secure financing to acquire their community
- make needed infrastructure improvements
- build resident leadership and management capacity
- operate their community using a cooperative democratic approach