Trainers take a moment to celebrate

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Every one of the nine ROC USA® Network affiliates has helped homeowners in at least one community purchase their neighborhood this year.

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And they’re not done yet.

The latest convening for the Network Certified Technical Assistance Providers featured celebrations of successes, including more insight into the record number of conversions this year and ways ROC Members are being empowered to be the face of the resident-ownership movement.

With 20 co-ops purchasing their communities so far this year and more to come, the number of conversions could be 50 percent more than last year. LEAP ROC helped Members establish Idaho’s first ROC this fall after joining the Network just under a year ago. Residents from Pleasant View Homeowners Cooperative in Caldwell purchased their 33-home community on Sept. 23 for $1.4 million.

Colleen Preston, a Massachusetts-based Cooperative Housing Specialist at Cooperative Development Institute, said the recent success of the state’s ROC-A-Thon regional training was primarily due to the support CDI received from a group of ROC Leaders there. The group of eight homeowners from around the state helped plan the agenda and encouraged their neighbors to attend.

“They came up with some great ideas,” Preston said. “They’re going to be continuing on as an advisory group.”

Cam Hebda, Manufactured Housing Cooperative Program Manager at PathStone Corporation in New York, said his team leveraged the expertise and experience of ROC Members over the last year as well. Most recently, a group looking to convert to resident-ownership was able to virtually meet with ROC Board Members from New York to help answer questions about the process.

“It was immensely helpful for them and I think the co-op leaders got something out of it, too,” Hebda said.

ROC-NH, a program of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, is having a banner year, preserving more than 800 homes thanks in part to a portfolio deal earlier this year. ROC-NH staff are in the process of revamping the initial ROC 101 trainings for new cooperatives and streamlining the process for choosing engineers to help with capital improvement projects.

Andy Kadlec, ROC program manager of Thistle Community Housing in Boulder, Colo., highlighted the new partnership with Family Promise and Clayton Homes to bring affordable homes to those coming out of transitional housing in the state.

Over the course of the three-day convening, the group took part in trainings on topics like understanding budgets, pre- and post-purchase skills, legal and regulatory compliance and working with property managers.

TA Providers from across the Network gather at least twice a year to sharpen their skills in order to best coach and empower ROC Leaders and Members at all stages of resident ownership.

“It doesn’t matter how long you’ve done this work,” said Kelli Cicirelli, Senior Organizational Director for ROC-NH. “It’s always good to come and have a refresher. I always get so much out of these.”

Learn more about the organizations who work with the nearly 250 ROCs across the country here.