10,000th Home Made Secure and Affordable Through Co-op Resident Ownership Movement
CONCORD, N.H. (May 1, 2015) — In less than seven years, ROC USA® — an organization of which Capital Impact Partners is a founding investor — has built on a proven strategy of resident ownership in manufactured home communities and scaled it across the country, transforming communities and building a network of 10,000 secure and affordable homes with partners in 14 states.
ROC USA is a nonprofit social venture dedicated to making quality resident ownership of manufactured home communities (aka “mobile home parks”) possible nationwide by helping residents work together as a cooperative to purchase the land their community sits on. It further works to provide democratic homeowner organizations with the opportunity, training and financing to purchase and manage their communities.
“Ten-thousand homes is a significant milestone — it’s the equivalent of a good-sized town,” said ROC USA founding President Paul Bradley, noting that if ROC USA were a community owner, it would boast the 12th-largest portfolio in America. “But our communities are resident-owned, resident-controlled and based on a model that preserves and improves affordable communities while building assets for low- and moderate-income families and individuals.”
Since launching in 2008, ROC USA has helped a resident group purchase its community once every 32 days on average. Turnpike Park Cooperative Inc. in Westborough, Mass., recently refinanced its purchase with ROC USA Capital. The 46 homes in the Boston MetroWest community bring the total number of homes in ROC USA communities to 10,017.
“Capital Impact was created to support consumer and small business cooperatives working in low-income communities. Over the years, we’ve expanded our efforts to scale food, worker and housing co-ops,” said Terry Simonette, CEO of Capital Impact Partners. “As a founding investor in ROC USA we couldn’t be more proud of this 10,000 home milestone and their tireless efforts to help increase resident-owned communities across this country.”
ROC USA includes two wholly-owned subsidiaries: ROC USA Network and ROC USA Capital. ROC USA Network is made up of eight certified technical assistance providers — nonprofit organizations that provide on-the-ground organizational development in each ROC USA community. These trainers work with resident groups from the first meeting following notice of a community sale through the purchase process and for at least the life of the group’s mortgage. They train Board officers, help navigate renovation and rehabilitation projects, and work to make the community self-sufficient and strong.
“The Cooperative Development Institute is immensely pleased to have participated in the preservation of the ROC USA Network’s 10,000th affordable home,” said Noémi Giszpenc, executive director of the Cooperative Development Institute, a ROC USA Certified Technical Assistance Provider since 2009. “Each and every one of those homes is important — they represent a family’s security. We look forward to growing our work and offering this basic opportunity of safe, secure, affordable land tenure to thousands and thousands more homeowners.”
Cooperative ownership of mobile home parks as a way of preserving affordable communities is a priority for several national non-profit organizations that in 2008 formed ROC USA to make resident-owned communities viable nationwide. In addition to Capital Impact, ROC USA is sponsored by NeighborWorks® America, the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), and the Community Loan Fund.
“With resident ownership, the homeowners in our network know their homes — their largest assets — are secure,” Bradley said. “That stability fosters a new wave of reinvestment in Members’ homes, the community in general, and an increase in camaraderie that really transforms a group of houses into a neighborhood.”
“We have the actual water, sewer and road resurfacing project to complete now so we have another hurdle to overcome,” said Scott Knox, president of Turnpike Park Cooperative Inc. “But by working together, we will all make it through to the end and have a beautiful functional cooperative to show and be proud of.”
About Capital Impact Partners:
Capital Impact Partners transforms underserved communities into strong, vibrant places of opportunity for people at every stage of life. We deliver strategic financing, incubate new social programs, and provide capacity-building to help ensure that low-to-moderate-income individuals have access to quality health care and education, healthy foods, affordable housing, and the ability to age with dignity. A nonprofit community development financial institution, Capital Impact Partners has disbursed more than $2 billion to revitalize communities over the last 30 years. Headquartered in Arlington, Va., Capital Impact Partners operates nationally, with local offices in Detroit, Mich., and Oakland, Calif. Learn more at www.capitalimpact.org
About ROC USA
ROC USA (www.rocusa.org) is a nonprofit organization with a national network of eight organizations and a national financing source for resident corporations. ROC USA® is sponsored by the Ford Foundation, NeighborWorks® America, Capital Impact Partners, the Corporation for Enterprise Development, and the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. The Community Loan Fund, a non-profit community development financial institution in New Hampshire, leveraged its experience with 90 resident-owned communities at the time to launch ROC USA with national partners in May 2008. Since then, ROC USA Network has helped 76 communities preserve 4,882 homes in 14 states.