“If you own something, it’s yours”

In the late 1970s, Jack Lapham got a quick lesson in tenant rights.

Man leaning on fence“In my park in Boscawen, the owner gave us 54 days to get out. He did it in the name of a dollar bill. He wanted to build something else there,” said the retired police officer.

Jack sold his home at an $8,000 loss and moved. He had no choice. He swore he’d never live in a manufactured housing park again.

Things change. In 2000, Jack and his wife moved into a three-bedroom home in Breezy Acres Co-op in Epsom.

“Unlike the other park I lived in, we own the land here,” said Jack. “If you own something, it’s yours.”

In 1992, the tenants bought the park with loans from the Community Loan Fund, a bank and the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. Faulty septic systems and other problems were fixed.

“Parks carry a stigma, but if more people were exposed to parks like this one, they’d appreciate how nice and quiet it is,” he said. “This is a well-kept secret.”