Thank you to the Directors and Members of Aberdeen West Co-op for welcoming to their community nearly a dozen University of New Hampshire summer interns in the Carsey Institute’s Social Innovation Program. You are great hosts.
The folks at Aberdeen have quite a story. They had a lot on the line when the community owner told them he was selling it. These homes are expensive and moving them in the seacoast region would be next to impossible and expensive. The seller worked the deal over several years – raising rents to increase the “value” of the park to a point where any buyer would have had to raise rents significantly to pay his price.
The co-op’s rent increase to buy the park and become co-op owners is one of the highest ever at $150. (Clackamas River, Horizon Homeowners, and Barrington Estates are the other $100+ rent increases that I can think of sitting here. The average increase to purchase is $22 per month.)
For Aberdeen, it’s worked out pretty well after an initial rough patch. Some people couldn’t afford it, but folks in Aberdeen (rightly) say they wouldn’t have afforded what the next investor would have done to them, either.
And, they have managed the community well and actually decreased their rent by $20. As you can see from Mike’s pictures, it’s a beautiful community and people there are very content. I heard over and over, “People here get along and work well together.” It really shows!
The students from UNH are interning at both non-profit organizations and for-profit companies that are working to have a positive impact in the world. Our intern, Nyomi, is developing websites for ROCs. Some of you may be in touch with her. Other UNH interns are working for recyclers, responsible investment companies and community development lenders.
This and many groups of students I get a chance to speak with are really inspiring to me. I went to college in the “go-go” ‘80s when most business students had their eye on one thing. This generation of students wants to change the world for the better. (So that’s it, I was 25 years ahead of my time!)
Thank you UNH for supporting us and our communities. You’ll read more about the Carsey Institute when I tell you the story of myROCUSA.org.