Residents of Manufactured Home Communities Forming Co-Ops


Estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau indicate there are about 38,000 manufactured home home (aka mobile home parks) land lease communities in the United States, with about 4.2 million home sites providing affordable housing for millions of residents. But many of those residents have little control over the destiny of the land on which their homes sit. They could be displaced in a matter of months if the community were to be sold for redevelopment. The risk of a community being sold and redeveloped is likely low because buyers see these rental communities as a profitable investment. But that doesn’t eliminate the risk.

There have been only a scant few new manufactured home parks constructed over the last 10-15 years in the U.S. Conversely, there have been numerous closures of parks developed in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s that have been sold and redeveloped creating dire displacement consequences. Due to lack of available relocation parks many of those residents are left with few viable alternatives. One of those alternatives is residents joining together forming a co-op purchasing the community as a commercial business. There is an organization dedicated to that undertaking.

Non-profit ROC (Resident Owned Communities) Is the leader in scaling, promoting and facilitating resident ownership of manufactured (mobile home) communities (parks).

Today roughly 1,000 communities or 2% of all manufactured (mobile) home communities are resident owned. However, the number of conversions to resident owned manufactured (mobile) home parks have become more commonplace over the past few years, thanks to non profit ROC (Resident Owned Communities, USA), which has formed a growing network of lender affiliates, members and other nonprofits that have successfully facilitated an ever growing 15 state network of 220 resident ownership communities with more than 14,000 realizing the American dream of homeownership.

What Is A ROC? How is it Different?

Source:….  In a resident owned community (ROC), homeowners form a non-profit business called a cooperative. Each household is a Member of the cooperative, which owns the land and manages the business that is the community. Members continue to own their own homes individually and an equal share of the land beneath the entire neighborhood. There are many benefits to living in a ROC, including:

  • Control of monthly lot rent, community repairs and improvements;
  • Lifetime security against unfair eviction;
  • Liability protection (Members are not personally liable for association loans.), a strong sense of community.

Everyone has a say in the way the ROC is run, and major decisions are made by democratic vote. Members elect a board of directors, which appoints committees to carry out various tasks and manage the day-to-day operations of the organization.

In a commercially owned community (aka a “mobile home park” or “trailer park”, even though residents own their homes, the park owner controls the lot rent and the park rules. He or she also has control over the condition of the community – including roads, water, electric, waste-water systems and landscaping. Each time the community is sold to a new owner, the rent is likely to increase.

In a resident-owned manufactured home community, if you don’t like how the park is being managed, you can run for a position on the board of directors and make improvements inside the organization.

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