Ownership gives you control

Two members of Dover Point Cooperative’s Board of Directors pose with gavel.

ROC-NH logoIn most New Hampshire communities, manufactured homes are the most-affordable housing option for individuals and families.

But when those homes are located in investor-owned parks, they are one of the least-secure forms of housing. At any time, the park’s owner can raise rents to unaffordable levels, enact restrictive rules, or even close the park and evict the homeowners.

Here are some important considerations as you decide whether to try to purchase your park.

Rent

An investor owner is in business to make money. Your rent pays for more than just the park’s operating costs; it also generates profit for the owner. Some owners claim annual profits of 20% or more, meaning that at least one of every five dollars you pay in rent goes directly into that owner’s pocket.

When a resident cooperative owns a park, all the rent it collects is invested back into the community. The members control the rent, and usually increase it only when operating costs (plowing, tree removal, etc.) increase or when the residents want to put aside money for future projects.

Over time, rent increases in resident-owned communities may flatten or even decline. That isn’t true of investor-owned parks.

Security

A park’s owner has the right to sell or close it at any time.

When a resident cooperative owns a park, it can only be closed or sold if the majority of homeowners vote that way.

Sense of community

We’ve seen many times over that when manufactured-home parks convert to resident ownership, the result is transformative. Renters become owners. Residents become leaders. And neighborhoods become communities, in the best senses of the word. People who had never previously met organize holiday events and block parties, and look in on and help their neighbors.

Repairs and improvements

A park’s investor owner decides what repairs and improvements will be made, and when. Tenants have no say in those decisions, but pay for them through rent increases.

When a resident cooperative owns a park, members have control over what repairs and improvements are made, how they are made, when they are made and how they are paid for.

Rules

A park’s investor owner makes the rules, which may not reflect residents’ needs and desires.

When a resident cooperative owns a park, the members develop and vote on their own rules.

Real mortgages

Fair, fixed-rate mortgage loans aren’t available to homeowners in corporate-owned parks because of the possibility that the park might close, destroying the value of the home.

When a resident cooperative owns a park, fair and fixed-rate home purchase, equity, and repair loans are available through the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s Welcome Home Loans. In addition, fixed-rate conventional financing is available for homes in Fannie Mae-approved cooperatives.

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.