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Tara Reardon, ROC’s-On Sharing Manufactured Home Solution with Thousands

November 2nd, 2018 Comments off

TaraReardonROCsonSharingManufacturedHomeSolutoinWithShousandsDailyBsuinessNewMHproNews

 

It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

– motto of the Christopher’s

 

There are good reasons to be open to concepts from across the left-right divide, as pro-free enterprise, pro-Constitutionally limited government MHProNews has exemplified for years.

Among the stronger voices for successfully promoting manufactured homes in a positive light has been those coming from the ROCs, or Resident Owned Communities.

Resident ownership isn’t the only solution for affordable quality living, as Paul Bradley has told MHProNews, but ROCs are a proven one.

As one reads this op-ed by Tara Reardon, consider doing your own letter-to-the-editor, at least once a year in your own market(s).  Don’t make it a plug for your business, or the odds are good it won’t be published.

Do make such a letter educational, as Reardon has done.

 

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Finally, ask yourself.  Why is it that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has for some 15 years failed at this same task, a point that their own prior president, Chris Stinebert has made, among others.

Reardon’s letter was originally posted at this link here.

NHBusinessReviewManufacturedHousingSolutionAffordableHousingTaraReardonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Manufactured (or mobile, as most people call them) homes represent the largest stock of unsubsidized affordable housing in the United States, with nearly 18 million Americans calling them home.

Their modern amenities and affordable prices make them an attractive option for people wanting to own their first homes, or to downsize.

But despite their clear economic and lifestyle advantages, some people consider manufactured homes a last resort, rather than a great choice. That’s because of outdated notions about the quality of the houses, the communities where they’re located and the people who live in them.

The mention of manufactured homes often conjures visions of old dilapidated trailers, and it’s true that they still dot New Hampshire’s landscape. It’s also true that you’ll find broken-down and neglected site-built homes along many a country road.

Modern manufactured homes are built to federal code, in a controlled environment, and can contain all the modern amenities that we HGTV-watchers dream of. These homes are not only well-built and attractive — they’re also affordable. The average cost to build a manufactured home is 50 percent less expensive per square foot than a comparable site-built home, excluding land cost.

My family recently moved from a big home where we raised kids and held large-family gatherings, with plenty of space and bathrooms, and a large lawn that required lots of upkeep, to a smaller downtown home on a 0.11 acre lot. I, like many empty-nesters, am relieved not to have to heat and light all that
extra space, not to mention the yard work and the clutter we accumulated just because we had the room.

My neighbors are just feet away, and we happily coexist in the dense urban block. I see and greet my neighbors far more often. I knew when Frank got a new knee and what time the kids leave for school. Chester and his dog, Honey, greet me on my way by. If they needed help, or something were amiss, I would know instantly. We now walk to our jobs and to Main Street. That is what I love about living in my neighborhood.

So why do we have this vision in our heads that living in a manufactured-home community is undesirable?

I work with folks in New Hampshire’s 126 resident-owned communities (ROCs). Their homes are small, but more than adequate for their needs. Their utilities are affordable and their space comfortable, on one level and easy to maintain. Their car is quickly accessible, parked right next to their homes. They own their homes and pay taxes on them just like I do.

These homeowners collectively, as a cooperative, own the land under their homes and manage their communities. They know if an elderly person’s shades aren’t raised in the morning, help might be needed. Their streets are private and more narrow, perfect for walking or bike riding.

My experience has shown me what a great housing option this is for more than 7,200 New Hampshire households. Yet some towns’ zoning ordinances include their manufactured-home regulations in the section that deals with campgrounds!

Worse yet, some towns require that manufactured homes be located at least 25 feet from the property line (a typical restriction) unless the adjacent property is zoned residential. Then the setback requirement doubles to 50 feet!

We have an affordable-housing shortage, and folks way smarter than I have pointed to manufactured housing as one solution. It makes sense, and for this housing to realize its potential, professionals who sit on planning and zoning boards, city councils and select boards owe it to their communities to understand the realities of modern manufactured homes. They’re likely to be surprised that they’re not the “trailers” they remember.

Manufactured-home communities combine the practical aspects of the tiny house and cluster development trends that have drawn a lot of positive attention. It is time to honestly consider all housing options, and not only consider manufactured housing as a component of the solution we are looking for, but to start planning our communities to include this common-sense housing choice.

Tara Reardon is director of ROC-NH, a program of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund.

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To give a fuller understanding of the ROC pitch, see their video below. Note that the ROC video below uses some outdated statistics.  More accurate information will be found on the infographic, immediately below.

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews

 

That’s this morning’s “News Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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“Girls of Steel,” 3 Untold Stories of Job Creation, Growing Opportunities for MHVille

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Due Credit, Warren Buffett, Media, and Manufactured Housing’s Historic Achievement

 

 

 

Closure by Collusion? Dark Side of Local Manufactured Home Community Code Enforcement?

May 3rd, 2018 Comments off

NorthernHousingCommunity281GrandAveSchofieldWausauDailyHeraldWisconsinManufacrturedHomeCommunityIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews550x292

A manufactured home community in the Wausau, Wisconsin area may be putting a fresh light on a dark topic.

 

Media and others often fail to put the topic of closures in the broader context of housing.  Hundreds of thousands of housing units a year are demolished in America, and the minority of those are manufactured homes, or pre-HUD Code mobile homes.

But for whatever reasons, manufactured home (MH) community closure stories often make local, regional or sometimes even national news.  Each one is arguably a case of a loss of affordable housing, at the very time when the nation or locales need affordable homes.

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Northern Housing Community is what the signs say, but local media have called it Northern Mobile Home Park, and its listed that way on MHVillage too. The location came under scrutiny for reportedly hundreds of code violations, which an attorney for the community said they were addressing. That didn’t stop the city from deciding to close it, and force residents out.

Thousands of these land-lease properties were built in the days prior to the HUD Code, and their names may still officially include the words “mobile home park.”  Meanwhile, other community operators update their property name as they also update their communities.

MH Community closures outnumber new community openings by a wide margin, as an exclusive upcoming report on the Daily Business News will reveal.

An underlying cause or end result of community closures are routinely for the purposes of redevelopment.  Those redevelopment projects may include, but aren’t necessarily limited to:

  • Multi-family housing,
  • commercial business space,
  • so-called big-box stores,

or what some call a “higher purpose.”  Those redevelopments of property often equals higher tax revenues, a not-to-be-overlooked motivator for municipalities and counties.

NorthernHousingCommunityAKA-NorthernMobileHomePark281GrandAveSchofiledWIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Across the street from this location is the Wausau Downtown airport. Several businesses are adjacent or near this largely commercial location.

Communities first developed some 50 or more years ago, back in the true mobile home park era, mature over time. If a community’s infrastructure and maintenance are not kept up, the cost of repairing them can grow to substantial sums.

For several “mom and pop” community operations, those costs might prove to be prohibitive.

Some investors buy aging communities with the specific intent of closing them for redevelopment purposes. Media reports have documented cases where new move-ins of manufactured homes have been accepted, with the owners knowing their plan to shut the community down in the foreseeable future.

That type of behavior often results in a firestorm in local or regional media, as the impacted residents protest the closure.

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Recent photo from WSAU in Wausau, WI of Northern Housing Community. There are rental and other housing units in this same market that are 60 to over 100 years old, that aren’t in as good a shape as the homes in this community.

Those and other cases of improper maintained, or other negative issues, poses a problem for good MH Community (MHC) operators.  The majority of small to large manufactured home community owners legitimately want to provide quality affordable living for their residents.

Thus MHC closures or other bad news unjustly paints good operations with an unjustified and problematic image by implication.

That issue was noted by the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) Ducker Worldwide researchers. Ducker noted, but didn’t directly address that issue per attendees, until a direct question about how those problems was asked at the recent MHI Las Vegas event.

Against that backdrop, the story of the Northern community in Schofield – across the busy road from the Wausau, Wisconsin downtown airport – is illuminating.

 

Wausau Wisconsin Area MH Community Closure

When asked about a local mainstream media story linked here, a community operator with knowledge of the property said the following to MHProNews via email.

It is a dump!  I did not purchase the place in the 80’s. It is an old HID design, very small lots. Narrow street and tight parking.  The home[s] are very old, some probably less than 14′ width. It sound[s] like many home[s] have become owned by the community and are rented.  Stories of poor maintenance of homes and community. The MHC has been thru multiple CA owners.”

A local newspaper – the Wausau Daily Herald – called it “a hellhole” in a headline.

But residents who have fought to keep it alive have called it, home.

I don’t even know where we’re going to go or what we’re going to do,” said Haley Ferguson, whose been there for four years.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been asked by MHProNews previously about the image, legal, and other problems caused to the industry by community closures. MHI has not directly addressed any of those in the last year.

By contrast, state manufactured home associations often respond promptly, although it may be off the record.  Some industry comments – including state association executives – on the community closure topic are linked under the resources, below.

That said, the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA) did not respond to this case, on-or-off the record.

Public officials, media, and researchers are among those who routinely respond to inquiries from MHProNews.  Many of those replies are rapid ones, same day or within an hour or two.

But when several local officials were asked a specific questions about the Northern Housing Community closure story linked above, there was no reply.

What where some of those questions posed to officials?

*  Was an effort being made to turn the community into a Resident Owned Community (ROC), and thus save it for the residents in that fashion?
*  Was there an unstated plan to redevelop the property?
*  Were the code violations giving local officials cover for the closure being protested by residents?

The owner of this community, per mainstream media reports, fought the code violations efforts for some time.  But when the time to appeal the closure came a few days ago, they failed to appeal. Why?

What changed?

The answers to these issues are not clear at this time.  But the reality that certain voices in the mix – noted above – didn’t sound off may suggest this is a topic they were not enthusiastic about addressing.  What was said to local media, was problematic…

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KreggHoehnMayorCityofSchofieldWIManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The Mayor Speaks

Local media reports about the choice of words by Schofield Mayor Kregg Hoehn spoke volumes.

We have come up with a list of trailer parks [*] that are accepting trailers [*] if they can get theirs there. We will hopefully come up with a list of rentals in the Schofield area as well,”  according to WSAU.

The city is promising no funds for those seeking to move, per WSAU, although a prior report seemed to indicate the some funds might be used.

As the maps and photos reflect, the property is on a highly-trafficked thoroughfare that connects Weston, Schofield, and Wausau, WI.

 

Wider MH Industry Impact

What is clear is that search engines have turned local news into easily accessible reports for anyone searching specific topics.

Those searches can be from housing shoppers, media, public officials, policy advocates, researchers, and others.

 

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So, while this particular MHC incident – or others – may be in a state far from yours, it is an issue for the entire manufactured home industry.  Because it impacts every state, including Hawaii, where fears over having a manufactured home community exists, even when there has never been a mobile home park built there.

 

Hawaii’s First “Trailer Park” on Oahu – Civil Beat’s Report Draws Heat

Why It Matters

  • The image and concerns over community closures are part of the home-buying public’s impressions about land-lease communities, as years of experience by MHLivingNews with the public indicates, and Ducker’s research obliquely confirmed.
  • It’s a concern for MHC residents, who often have lived in a community for ten years or more, and they don’t want to move when their told that the place they’ve called home is about to be sold or redeveloped.
  • Closures provide an easy target for organized protesters too.
  • Community resales and closures are on the radar of the Congress, as Representative Keith Ellison’s (D-MN) proposed bill made clear.

Kinzler, Gallagher on Congressman Keith Ellison, the MH Industry, and Manufactured Home Communities

All of those examples and more make it a public policy issue.

Some communities close by collusion between private capital and local officials. Some MH Community operators have also told MHProNews about a different twist; where MHC owners have had civic officials contact them about closing their communities, even if the property is being well run.

These are troublesome, and dark spots on an otherwise proud industry that has nobly served tens of millions of Americans.

Left unaddressed, the closure issue will only continue to fester like an untreated wound, hurting manufactured home businesses, sales, and consumers alike. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.) 

  • The term ‘trailer’ is not appropriate for HUD code manufactured homes, nor for most ‘mobile homes.’  To learn more, click here.

(Third party images are provided under fair use guidelines.

Related Reports and Industry Commentary:

Promoting Manufactured Home Ownership – With “Only 1 in 100 Eaten by a Lion”

“Mobile Homeless” (sic) – Denver Meadows Mobile Home Park Aurora, CO closure case – Another Look

On Aurora “Mobile Home Park” Closure, related Negative Media Coverage

 

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Manufactured Housing Co-operative Member Honored for Outstanding Community Service

May 13th, 2016 Comments off

new_hampshire__fosters_slash_kate_harris_photography__above_and_beyond_award_roc_nhRick Cantu, of Emerald Acres Cooperative, one of 119 resident-owned manufactured home communities in New Hampshire, was honored by ROC-NH’s (resident-owned communities-New Hampshire) Co-ops Celebrating Community for his outstanding volunteer work in his community, receiving the Above and Beyond award.

He was nominated by his neighbors, one of whom wrote: “Rick is a certified Well Operator that volunteers his time to help manage our Co-Op’s water system. He ensures the Co-Op is complaint by taking the time to handle all required paperwork for the state as well as personally going door to door to hand out water compliance paperwork.”

As fosters informs MHProNews, Emerald Acres in Barrington, NH converted to resident ownership in 2006. ROC-NHs’ Above and Beyond Award honors residents of New Hampshire’s manufactured home co-operatives who go above and beyond in assisting the operations of their communities. ##

(Photo credit: fosters/Kate Harris Photography–Nick Cantu receives the award from Tara Reardon, ROC-NH director.)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Co-op Residents get Assist from Software to Operate Communities

October 31st, 2015 Comments off

roc_usa_logoManufactured home communities (MHC) play an important role in meeting the need for affordable housing across the U. S., reports usda.gov. If they become a cooperative, the residents have a major responsibility to govern and manage their ownership rights, reports John McNamara, a Cooperative Development Specialist with the Northwest Cooperative Development Center (NWCDC), which is a a ROC (resident-owned community) USA® certified technical assistance provider (CTAP).

It is important for co-op members to maintain communications with each other and to CTAPs who provide them with crucial guidance, as well as to connect with resources available through modern information technology. To this end, ROCs are testing software and standardized curriculum designed to increase technological self-sufficiency to co-op members, especially as more co-operatives emerge. The goals include promoting residents computer fluency and building leadership, as MHProNews understands.

A resident-owned community is more than just a homeowner’s association; it is a business that requires constant attention, maintenance, oversight and nurturing,” says Daniel Luis Arrañaga, a CTAP for NWCDC. To further this end, students from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington have partnered with NWCDC to teach residents basic skills in e-mail, on-line editing and typing.

Says Arrañaga, “The great thing is that I can get on the document with board members who are 250 miles away and train them on how to make an agenda without making an eight hour round-trip drive.

The initiative gives residents a greater sense of ownership in researching solutions to community problems, find vendors and help create an archive of organizational documents available to all members. It will also free up CTAPs to work with new clients and provide for a more efficient use of funds needed for development. ##

(Image credit: ROC-USA)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

After 4-1/2 Years of Effort, Residents of a Montana MH Community Celebrate the Purchase of Their Community

January 23rd, 2015 Comments off

polluted-water-trailer-great-falls-montanaResidents of Trailer Terrace, a manufactured home community 1.7 miles south of Great Falls, Montana, are celebrating the purchase of their community.  This has been a long time in coming, after many years of enduring unsafe water and sewer conditions.

Residents of the 90-home property now own the 22-acre site and control the fate of the troubled community. “Everything is going to change,” Don Feist, president of the Trailer Terrace Community Cooperative, said.

Don Feist holds up water sample from previous community water system.

The Great Falls Tribune tells MHProNews that the rusted tanks that once stored the community’s water had previously held oil at a refinery. Some of the sewer service pipes, installed in the 1960s, were made of paper. Unsafe levels of arsenic in the water were detected in 2012. However, the owner refused to do anything to improve the water and sewer systems, and eventually the property went into receivership and things were at a standstill.

In desperation, the 250 residents of the community, one of 34 communities or parks in Cascade County, turned to NeighborWorks Montana for help.  This is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping low-income people obtain affordable housing.

NeighborWorks put Trailer Terrace residents in touch with ROC USA, which stands for “Resident Owned Communities.” This organization offers financing for cooperatives that form in mobile or manufactured home communities, and Trailer Terrace took out a $1.4 million loan from ROC to purchase their community.

“Sheila Rice and her crew at NeighborWorks did a lot of things for us, and they still will be doing things for us,” Don Feist said of Rice, NeighborWorks’ executive director.

Rice said that her organization only helped the determined residents of this community. “These are all hard-working people who have regular full-time jobs, and they’ve done a lot of work to try to get this sale completed,” Rice said. “Some of them have lived there 20 and 30 years, and they remember the old days when Trailer Terrace was very nicely kept up, and that’s what they want to restore the park to.”

Ownership via a cooperative, she says, offers security to residents in controlling rents, amenities and water and sewer updates. Members receive long-term transferrable leases of up to 75 years, which makes the home more valuable when homes are sold and a board runs the cooperative, Rice explained. Money that typically would go to the owner can be invested in improvement and infrastructure for the community.

Trailer Terrace is the latest community in Montana to form a cooperative in order to improve living conditions. Others have been created in Red Lodge, Kalispell, and at Missouri Meadows, another manufactured home community in Great Falls.

In addition to purchasing their community, residents of Trailer Terrace have also formed a water and sewer district, which enabled them to apply for and receive $2.8 million from state and federal agencies to construct new water and sewer treatment systems.

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Lyle Meeks of NCI Engineering, which worked with residents on securing the funding, said the grant amount was unusually high. He said that was because of the severe environmental and public health concerns, which caused the applications to score high in the funding approval process. “I’ve never seen a situation this acute,” Meeks said of the failing water and sewer systems.

He said the state funding agencies, the Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and the state Department of Commerce, all deserved credit. “They’ve been extremely helpful,” Meeks said. “And those staff people don’t get much kudos. Usually they just get yelled at.”

A new water well has been drilled and a 40,000-gallon water tank has been installed a quarter of a mile from the community.  Meeks explained that the quality of the water is better in that location, and water pressure also will be better because of the new location.

In addition to securing safe and reliable water and sewer systems, there are other benefits to community ownership as well. “Because of the heavy grant assistance, the rent will remain an affordable $300 a month, which will include the water and sewer bill,” Feist explained. “The reason we wanted to buy it is because everything was broken and the only way we were going to get it fixed was if we fixed it ourselves.”

Lining up the financing to purchase the park and arrange the infrastructure financing took 4-1/2 years, and Feist said obtaining the purchase money and the grants were a community effort.

“It would not have happened without the help of many people,” he said.  He thanks state legislators Sen. Mitch Tropila, (D-Great Falls), and Sen. Brian Hoven, (R-Great Falls), who pushed for the funding in Helena.  He said that residents are also grateful for help extended by Cascade County commissioners, who applied for a federal community block grant. In addition, former U.S. Sen. Max Baucus and Sen. Jon Tester lined up a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In addition, Environmental Engineer Meeks did his work pro bono before the residents had any funding, and Attorney Dan Shannon also was instrumental in getting the project completed, Feist explained.

“This was really a community project. Everybody helped,” he concluded. ##

(Photo Credit: Great Falls Tribune)

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Article Submitted by Sandra Lane to – Daily Business News- MHProNews.

 

West Wind Estates residents purchase their community

January 14th, 2015 Comments off

west-wind-estates-purchased-by-residents-rochester-nhIt was a good Christmas for residents of West Wind Estates in Rochester, New Hampshire, because on Christmas Eve they closed on the purchase of their 129-space community.  This became New Hampshire’s 111th resident-owned manufactured home community and Rochester’s ninth. That’s an impressive number of resident-owned communities for such a small state.

Foster’s Daily Democrat  tells MHProNews  that the residents obtained training and technical assistance from the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s ROC-NH program. To begin, the residents organized and formed Stony Brook Cooperative in July 2014 in order to convert their privately owned manufactured-home community into a resident-owned community or ROC.

The cooperative then negotiated with community owners Ralph and Pauline Torr for the final purchase price of $3.5 million before finalizing the transaction with financing from the Community Loan Fund and the Torrs.

Becoming an ROC means a bright future for the community and the stability to grow and prosper,” Stony Brook Vice President Diane Bozzi explained. “The process was on target and smooth.”

Now that West Wind Estates is a resident-owned community, homeowners there are eligible for products and services – like mortgages in a land-lease – that haven’t been available to them previously.

For 31 years, the Community Loan Fund has worked in towns and cities across New Hampshire to connect people and families with the loans, training and advice that allow them to have affordable homes and secure jobs and become economically stable.

Residents of communities that are not cooperatively owned usually own the home they live in, but not the land beneath it. Because of that, they miss out on most of the usual benefits of homeownership, including conventional mortgage terms, the appreciation of their home’s value and the availability of equity loans.

The Community Loan Fund helped convert New Hampshire’s first cooperative community in 1984. Since then, its cooperative assistance team has developed a conversion strategy, an annual leadership program, a bi-annual conference and a management guide for cooperatives. Its strategy is now being applied nationally by the organization, ROC USA. ##

Related articles: a video interview with Paul Bradley, ROC USA president, is linked here.

Paul Bradley accepting the prestigious Voorhis award, is linked here.

ROC USA’s Mary O’Hara will be part of the Lessons Learned in MHCs panel presentation at the Louisville MH Show next week.

(Photo Credit: Foster’s Daily Democrat)

sandra-lane-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-75x75- Article Submitted by Sandra Lane to – Daily Business News- MHProNews.

 

 

Residents of Co-operatively Owned MHCs Awarded for Volunteer Efforts

June 26th, 2014 Comments off

Five members of ROC-NH’s (resident-owned-communities-New Hampshire’s) have been honored with the organization’s Above & Beyond awards for outstanding volunteer work in their respective co-op communities across the state, according to communityloanfund.org. Neighbors at Windswept Acres Cooperative said of Raymond Davis and Roger Hebert they clear doors and shovel snow off roofs during snowstorms. Sugar River residents nominated James R. Hanlon because he loans his tools out, helps disabled people carry groceries into their homes, and shovels driveways. At Pleasant Valley Estates, residents praise Natalie Sheldon because “She plants flowers and keeps the beds weeded. Natalie always responds with compassion and caring to residents that call or stop by at all times with pressing issues and concerns. She covers whenever our regular office secretary isn’t available.”

Kim Woods was nominated at Aberdeen West for her selflessness. “Kim has crawled under homes, repaired roofs, and saved our cooperative and members time and money. She uses her own truck and tools to cut down tree limbs and haul debris to the dump. If someone is sick, Kim is always willing to help out with transportation or in any way. Kim is the ‘unsung hero’ of our community.” MHProNews.com understands ROC-NH™ provides financial and technical support to manufactured home communities as they convert to resident-owned co-ops, and assists them in developing leadership, strengthening their communities and building equity. There are 109 resident-owned-communities in New Hampshire. ##

(Photo credit: Kate Harris–l-r, ROC Trainer Gary Faucher, Kim Woods, Natalie Sheldon, James R. Hanlon, Robert Hebert and Raymond Davis)

New York Measure Seeks Financing Parity for MH and Site-built

May 8th, 2014 Comments off

Writing in the Opinionator section of The New York Times, Andrea Levere says 18 million people with an average median income of $30,000 live in factory-built housing, making it the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the U. S. Although over 70 percent own their own homes, most who live in manufactured housing communities (MHC) do not own the land under their home, as MHProNews.com knows. Noting most manufactured homes (MH) are classified as personal property instead of real estate, it makes it difficult to obtain low-cost financing. She says federal laws are needed to enact better financing options, and more local jurisdictions should embrace manufactured homes.

A proponent of MHCs becoming co-ops, Levere says 18 states have laws that deal with the transition, but most do not give people adequate time to prepare for the actual purchase. She says strict zoning laws prohibit siting MH in urban areas where they could be most helpful. In Oakland, California, MH has been used for infill lots since the 1980s, and the homes have sold for four times their original cost. The New York State Senate is considering a bill that mandates local ordinances treat manufactured housing like any other housing. She says more small lenders need to provide loans with the backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, just as they do for conventional homes.

As president of the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), Levere promotes co-operative ownership of communities. She is also the board chairwoman for ROC USA (Resident Owned Communities).##

(Image credit: Royal Homes of Raleigh (NC)–manufactured homes)

Former Land Lease Community becomes Resident-Owned

March 20th, 2014 Comments off

Bella Vista Estates in Boardman, Oregon, with 127 homesites, has become the largest resident-owned manufactured home community (MHC) in Oregon, according to eastoregonian.com. The non-profit Community and Shelter Assistance Program (CASA) of Oregon helped the residents form the co-op and obtain the $3.15 million financing, and continues to provide technical assistance and management training. Eighty of the 118 occupied homes have so far joined the co-op, MHProNews.com has been informed. CASA is part of the national organization, Resident-Owned Communities (ROC), and supports affordable housing for agricultural workers and low income people across the state. The organization’s Manufactured Housing Cooperative Development program converted six other communities to co-operatives. CASA says there are about 1,293 MHCs in the state with 65,500 homesites, representing a majority of the affordable housing stock for lower income people. ##

(Photo credit: E. J. Harris/eastoregonian.com Bella Vista Estates)

Supreme Court ruling benefits Communities seeking Coop Status

July 29th, 2011 Comments off

Iowas State Supreme Court Building, Flckr CC Photo posted at MHProNews.comIAMHA executive director Joe Kelly tells MHProNews.com that the Iowa Supreme Court decision has come down today in a case important to those seeking to transition manufactured home communities into resident owned communities. The Board of Review of Jasper County, Iowa, sought further review of the court of appeals decision which had affirmed the judgment of the district court that two residential cooperatives be classified as residential property for property tax purposes. The decision of the Court of Appeals was affirmed. This means the tax treatment of resident owned communities will be more favorable than it would be if the communities would be treated as commercial entities for tax purposes.

(photo credit: Flikr CC)