New Hampshire celebrated its 100th resident-owned manufactured-home community in 2012. We asked residents to predict what the next 100 might bring. Their answers: a national network, buying and political power, conventional mortgage loans, and preferred vendor lists.
In 2003, Pine River Mobile Home Park in Ossipee was ordered closed by the state and put up for sale. Its 35 families had nowhere to go. Flexible loans from the NH Community Loan Fund, and a boost from the town police chief, helped them save their homes and start rebuilding their community
The name of the mobile home park in the shadow of the White Mountains was Scenic View, but the view within the park was anything but. That was before a residents cooperative bought it and turned things around. Now it's a place where people want to live.
Medvil Cooperative overcame a difficult conversion to resident-ownership by "tapping the talent"--discovering residents' skills and talents to get them involved in community life.
While the price of housing in its area climbed, Mascoma Meadows Cooperative hadn't increased its rent for five years. Saving, prioritizing, helping their neighbors, and keeping the community full have served the residents well.
Larry and Brenda Woods' old manufactured home was falling down around them--literally. A Welcome Home Loan put them in a brand-new energy-efficient home where the weather stays outside and heat stays inside.
The matched savings from her Individual Development Account set Mary Callahan on a path to a college degree, a promotion, and a home for herself and her young daughter.
Gary and Dawn Thulin's 43-year-old manufactured home was cramped, dingy and drafty. The ceiling and walls were filled with mold. The seams of the ply board were pulling apart. There was no insulation. With no credit, they felt stuck: "Who's going to give us a loan?" they wondered. The Community Loan Fund did.
Carole Soule and Bruce Dawson, a pair of high-tech professionals turned farmers, aren’t content with working “outside the box.” They want to change the box. When they planned to add a retail store onto the side of their 150-year-old barn at Miles Smith Farm, their thoughts turned to solar power.
"We wanted to work with people who understood and respected the culture, who would provide guidance and who really were interested in understanding our business,” said Blake's President, Chris Licata.