Does your Resident Owned Community have vacant lots? Are there homes that need replacing? Have you considered how additional site fees from new homes could impact your community’s bottom line? If any of these questions ring a bell, then this conversation is for you. We’re joined by Alan Blake of ROC-NH to talk about his new position as an infill specialist. In his position, he’s a resource for New Hampshire’s 140+ ROCs who are considering bringing new homes into their communities but don’t know where to start. While his position is state-specific, his ideas are not – ROCs from all over the country can benefit from Alan’s tips!
Episode: An In-depth Talk about Infill with ROC-NH’s Alan Blake
Join us for this episode of the Ownership Matters podcast, where hosts Paul Bradley and Mike Bullard of ROC USA chat with advocates of manufactured housing and resident-owned communities! In this episode, Paul and Mike welcome guest Alan Blake from ROC-NH to have an in-depth conversation about infill—the current landscape, things he’s learned, and what the future looks like.
0:12 – Paul and Mike introduce this episode and guest Alan Blake
Alan Blake works with ROC- NH (New Hampshire) and helps to fill the infill needs in resident owned communities. While Alan is specifically in New Hampshire, this conversation provides great advice for all listeners!
1:03 – Alan joins the conversation
Hosts welcome Alan on and he briefly shares a little about himself, how long he has been with ROC-NH, and what he did before. Alan’s past experiences in business and adult education have proven helpful to aid his current position through offering wisdom from more unique experiences.
2:48 – Alan shares about his new role at ROC-NH
Filling empty lots is often one of the biggest challenges for these communities. Listen as Alan explains how success with infill can affect the current members in spreading out operating costs and boosting their economy.
7:03 – Paul and Mike ask Alan to share some specific examples of successful co-ops
Alan touches on a few co-ops who have successfully completed an infill project. He talks about one example of a community in Canaan, New Hampshire. While residents initially seemed very skeptical to take on this project, he explains how they jumped in and experienced a great success for their community.
12:41 – Sizing the pad, contacting dealerships, and financials
Alan shares some logistical details and advice on how to size a pad, the importance of contacting dealerships first, and the various financial aspects behind these things. Today’s pricing in the current market is rapidly changing!
14:48 – How Alan learns and gives advice
Alan chats about taking the lessons learned from successful projects and using that to advise other communities with infill needs. Alan shares the importance of scaling up the installation of manufactured housing and how we can be working to reduce cycle times.
17:29 – What infill has looked like in New Hampshire and what buyers should expect
Paul and Mike ask about what infill has specifically looked like in the New Hampshire landscape recently. Additionally, Alan shares what buyers should expect with all the current supply chain delays and shifting timeframes. While this can present a challenge for today, Alan says there is still a lot of leg work that can be completed now!
19:20 – The scope of the need in New Hampshire
Alan sheds light on the scope of the need in New Hampshire right now with infill and vacancies. With about 300 vacancies spread throughout different communities, there is a lot of progress that can be made.
20:58 – The home-buyer perspective
Shifting the conversation, Alan touches on the home-buyer perspective: Who is buying? What are they looking for? What should home-buyers know? With the affordable housing crunch right now, Alan talks about the current demographics and the common considerations buyers ought to look at.
22:30 – The role of realtors, dealers, and listing services
Alan explains the role of realtors, home dealers, and listing services. While many vacancies can be listed and marketed as available, Alan shares how many of these are simply filled by word of mouth. Surprisingly, one of the smallest challenges has been proven to find a buyer for these homes—the challenges arise elsewhere along the path of infill.
24:58 – How to start planning on incorporating infill into processes
Paul and Mike reflect on a previous episode with Dennis Jakubowski, Board President of Marilla Country Village, from his experience in Western New York. They ask Allen to give a few bullet points on how to start planning and incorporating infill into standard processes. He discusses spec housing—how to talk to dealerships, realtors, and others involved. Alan shares an important note about measuring to know what size home a lot can accommodate.
28:33 – ROC NH infill videos
Alan shares about how the team video resources ROC-NH produced have been received and used. These videos have proven to be very helpful to beginning conversations for infill.
29:53 – Hosts reflect on the discussion
Paul and Mike reflect on this great conversation with Alan. They chat about their personal take-aways and the tips they heard. Best tip—measure the empty lots and talk to people in the industry to get the ball rolling!
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