CONCORD, N.H.—October is National Co-Op Month, and ROC USA is pleased to join the celebration of cooperatives nationwide, including the 281 Resident Owned Communities in ROC USA Network who are Building Back for Impact.
Resident Owned Communities (ROCs) are manufactured home communities that have taken ownership of their neighborhoods through limited-equity cooperative ownership.
Celebrated by cooperatives nationwide during the month of October, National Co-op Month is an annual opportunity to raise awareness of a trusted, proven way to do business and build communities. This year’s theme is “Build Back for Impact,” a message that ROCs regularly demonstrate.
Upon purchasing their communities, many ROCs undertake infrastructure projects to rehabilitate their neighborhood for forward progress. Others work together build a sense of community.
Three years ago, Park Plaza Cooperative in Fridley, Minnesota, built a state-of-the-art storm shelter. Today, the structure not only provides safety during high-wind weather events, but also serves as a neighborhood hub, hosting Libraries Without Borders events, a food pantry, community events and more.
In nearby Worthington, Minn., Sungold Heights, a resident-owned community of 106 homes, recently broke ground on a $2.6 million project that will replace the community’s existing water and sewer systems and repave all roads throughout the community.
A similar water project is also underway at Cranberry Village in Carver, Massachusetts, where the community is investing $4.4 million to completely replace its entire water system, including hookups to each of the co-op’s 279 homes. Once the water is complete, the community will repave over four miles of roads.
Resident-owned cooperatives are also investing in alternative energy –in 2018, Mascoma Meadows Cooperative in Lebanon, N.H. became the first resident-owned community to generate solar power from on-site solar panels, and earlier this year, the Members at Lakeville Village held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new solar field, which powers 880 local homes and businesses in Geneseo, N.Y.
Ownership Matters Podcast
Hear from Ron Palmer, Board President at Lakeville Village about the community’s solar project:
In keeping with the Build Back for Impact theme, each year the ROC Association provides grant funding annually for Member-led community-improvement projects in ROCs.
In 2021, 12 ROCs received grants of up to $2,000 to accomplish small projects in their communities, such as new signage, playground repairs, and safety investments. To date, the ROC Association has awarded $147,165.96 in funding dating back to 2011.