COLUMBIA FALLS, Mont. – The homeowners who live in Hideaway Community have bought the community from the previous owner, preserving 29 homes that are affordable to low-income residents. Hideaway Community is now a resident owned community (ROC) meaning the residents now own and manage their own community.
NeighborWorks Montana guided residents through the purchase process and continue to support them as they build the skills and leadership they need to manage their community. In most manufactured-home parks, homeowners own their homes and pay lot rent to the park owner for the use of the land. In resident owned communities the lot rent goes to the resident cooperative and is managed to meet community needs and maintain affordability.
“This is the first resident owned community in the Columbia Falls area and preserves critically needed homes that can remain affordable,” said Adam Poeschl, ROC Program Specialist for NeighborWorks Montana. “This project also shows that conversion to resident ownership is possible even in the current housing market.”
Safe and stable homes are increasingly out of reach for working and low-income families in Montana. ROCs preserve an important source of unsubsidized affordable housing for working families, seniors and people with low incomes. Owning a home in a community like this is typically half as expensive as renting an apartment. This is the fourth ROC conversion within Flathead County, an area where the median home price is approximately $662,000 and housing stock is limited. Now the community residents can control their lot rent and be at ease knowing that their community will not be sold out from under them.
The purchase was financed by ROC USA® Capital and NeighborWorks Montana. Hideaway Community is the 15th resident owned community in the state of Montana, with a total of 606 homes preserved across the state. There are more than 280 ROCs in 20 states across the nation. NeighborWorks Montana provides the ROC program in Montana as part of the ROC USA® Network.
The ROC USA Network is made up of eleven non-profit affiliates across the country. The ROC program helps to provide safe, secure, and affordable housing in perpetuity, and it eliminates the risks for residents of rent increases or being evicted without cause.