Paul Bradley talks ROC Model on ‘Co-op Power Hour’

BOULDER, Colo. — Engaged homeowners, willing sellers and a lot of hard work are just some of what fuels the resident-ownership mission as a way of preserving affordable housing long-term.

Photo of Paul Bradley in front of a manufactured home in a New Hampshire co-op.
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Paul Bradley, seen here at Freedom Hill Cooperative in Loudon, N.H., has been voted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame. He will be formally inducted in May 2018.

These were a few of the topics that ROC USA® Founding President Paul Bradley discussed on the latest episode of “Co-op Power Hour,” a monthly radio show and podcast hosted by Nathan Schneider. Schneider, a media studies professor at the University of Colorado, hosts different cooperative leaders to discuss their models and the work they do. The show is produced by the Colorado Co-operative Study Circle.

“It’s a really innovative organization that helps manufactured home communities gain co-ownership,” Schneider said in his introduction.

Bradley discusses the history of the ROC model, and its importance as a way of preserving affordable housing stock.

“Homeowners in every state we’ve entered have a strong interest in buying the land when they’re provided a viable opportunity,” he said.

Buying the land under their homes and forming a cooperative also works to empower those living in the communities and helping bring everyone together.

“Literally in this case, they’re going into business together,” Bradley said. “That significantly changes how they view the world.”

Work is starting to pick up in Colorado as well, with a handful of communities going through the process of becoming resident owned. Last year, Thistle joined the ROC USA® Network as the newest affiliate.

Over the next decade, the focus will be scaling deep and wide, as shown by the goals laid out in the latest version of the strategic plan.

“This is a stronger sector if this is homeowner led, as opposed to a non-profit led strategy,” he said. “This is not what we think is right for communities, but what homeowners think is right for their community.”

Bradley is joined by Karin Hoskin, executive director of the Co-housing Association of the United States. She talks about how that form of housing as another sustainable, alternative way to provide stability for homeowners.

The two also discussed the shared challenges of their work, including combating stigma in the communities they work with.

Listen to the full episode here.