In a resident-owned community (ROC), homeowners form a non-profit business called a cooperative. Each household is a Member of the cooperative, which owns the land and manages the business that is the community. Members continue to own their own homes individually and an equal share of the land beneath the entire neighborhood. There are many benefits to living in a ROC, including:
Control of monthly lot rent, community repairs and improvements;
Lifetime security against unfair eviction;
Liability protection (Members are not personally liable for association loans.), and a strong sense of community.
Everyone has a say in the way the ROC is run, and major decisions are made by democratic vote. Members elect a board of directors, which appoints committees to carry out various tasks and manage the day-to-day operations of the organization.
How ROCs are Different
In a commercially owned community (aka a “mobile home park” or “trailer park”), even though residents own their homes, the park owner controls the lot rent and the park rules. He or she also has control over the condition of the community – including roads, water, electric, waste-water systems and landscaping. Each time the community is sold to a new owner, the rent is likely to increase.
In a commercially owned community, the theory is that if you don’t like how the park is being managed, you can move your home. But “mobile” homes these days are not very mobile. Many homes could not withstand the move. Affordable lots are hard to find. If you live in a park without protection from skyrocketing rent or even park closure, you could be at risk to lose your home.
In a resident-owned manufactured home community, if you don’t like how the park is being managed, you can run for a position on the board of directors and make improvements inside the organization.