WESTFIELD, Mass. – Residents of two Westfield manufactured home communities have a lot to celebrate as they take ownership of the land beneath their communities, securing affordable housing for their families.
On July 24, the residents of Arbor Mobile Home Park and Heritage MHP manufactured home communities became the newest manufactured housing cooperatives to join a national network of 247 resident-owned communities, totaling 16,851 homes in 16 states. The residents are excited about the opportunity to own and manage their communities.
“All I can say is, hurray! It’s already feeling like a community,” said Phyliss Martin, Secretary of the Arbor Board of Directors. “We are excited to begin our journey together.”
For many residents, purchasing their communities creates the solace and peace of mind that they have secured affordable housing for the future, and in doing so, have protected their assets.
“As a residential owner, I can feel safe putting money into my home, without the fear of losing it,” said Leo Matos, President of the Arbor Board.
The new resident owners of Heritage MHP are also looking to the future with optimism and hope.
“As homeowners, the purchase of our mobile home park represents our desire to move into the future with pride and to uphold the traditions of Westfield in a meaningful way,” said Joanne Ramirez, Board Secretary at Heritage.
“Every community purchase holds a unique story and set of circumstances and each also follows a familiar pattern – homeowners joining together to gain control of the land under their homes because it’s in their best interest to do so,” said Paul Bradley, president of ROC USA, LLC. “It’s as fundamental and simple as that when you get right down to it.”
The Arbor and Heritage neighborhoods are part of a two-state, three-community sale that includes another community in Rhode Island. All three communities were put up for sale by the same owner as a package, under a single contract, and the purchase by three resident groups was executed simultaneously.
Taken together, the three community resident purchases will preserve 187 units of affordable housing. Residents of the Arbor purchased their community for $1.73 million, and the residents of Heritage purchased theirs for $1.79 million. The total purchase price of the three communities was $6.9 million. Financing was provided by ROC USA® Capital.
“The option for three residents’ groups in two states to purchase their communities in a single deal presented a unique challenge,” said Andy Danforth, CDI’s New England Resident Owned Communities (NEROC) Program Director. “This type of a deal has never been executed before. In all, we now support 49 converted communities in 6 states with close to 12,000 residents and over $200 million of program investment in the last nine years.”