Benefits of living in a manufactured-home (or mobile home) cooperative

ROC-NH logoWhen neighbors unite and purchase their manufactured-home (or mobile home) community, the benefits are social and economic, immediate and long-term. ROC USA® President Paul Bradley summarizes them when he says, “Community ownership … encourages community pride and personal investment because homeowners can feel secure in their homes.”

Social benefits

Security is one of the greatest benefits. Residents who cooperatively own the land beneath their homes control the community’s future, including whether it will be sold or closed. “No one can close the park and force us to move without due cause. That security is … priceless.” said Richard Walker of L.R.M.H.V. in Gilford.

Many members of resident-owned communities feel a great sense of accomplishment. Florence Quast, who has lived in her Milford community since 1979, was a key organizer of the Souhegan Valley Manufactured Housing Co-op when it converted to resident ownership in 1985.

“My proudest accomplishment is helping us become a co-op and buying the park because it’s something people said we couldn’t do,” she said. After the purchase, the co-op’s members made major improvements to the roads and water lines. Other co-ops have rewritten their community rules.

The common goal of buying, owning and managing a community also creates a greater sense of community. Neighbors who work with one another get to know one another.

Residents also learn that they belong to a community much larger than their co-op. They are connected to other resident-owned communities in New Hampshire (see map) through ROC-NH™ and across the country through ROC USA (an organization that is spreading the Community Loan Fund's park conversion strategy nationwide). Both organizations create opportunities for education, collaboration and networking.

Co-op members have access to first-rate training and education sponsored by ROC-NH. Community Leadership graduates earn college credit they can use toward a degree at Granite State College.

Economic benefits

The economic benefits of resident ownership include control over lot rent, access to favorable mortgage loans and higher home values, as well as access to several sources of public funding for community infrastructure improvements.

Members vote on their co-op’s annual budget. They determine what their lot rent (also called carrying charges ) will be and what to do with surplus funds.

Homeowners in New Hampshire’s resident-owned communities also have access to fixed-rate home loans with relaxed credit terms and low down-payments. The Community Loan Fund offers Welcome Home Loans for purchase, refinance, cash-out refinance and home equity.

Additionally, Merrimack County Savings Bank and St. Mary’s Bank offer purchase, refinance and cash-out refinance loans to owners and buyers of homes in the six co-ops that have been pre-approved for this program For information about how your co-op can become approved, contact ROC-NH Director Tara Reardon by email or call (603) 224-6669.

According to research conducted at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire, homeowners in resident-owned communities have financial advantages over those in investor-owned parks. On average, they enjoy lower lot rent, higher average home sale prices and faster home sales. Combine these factors with favorable mortgage options, and residents in co-ops enjoy a greater opportunity to build wealth through homeownership.

Learn more about cooperatives.
Learn more about the rights and responsibilities of members of manufactured housing co-ops.
Learn more about how resident-owned communities are governed.
Learn more about how committees work in resident-owned communities.

ROC-NH™ is a program of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, Inc. and a ROC USA® Certified Technical Assistance Provider. ROC-NH is a registered service mark of ROC USA, LLC.