Resident Owned Communities (ROCs) have become a thing. This term generally refers to a specific type of housing co-op that engages manufactured home parks. This is a slightly different model than what most people think of when they hear the term housing co-op.
ROC*USA is a national organization based in New Hampshire that has cultivated this model and created a network of partners throughout the US. ROC-USA affiliated communities number over 250 in 16 different states.
What this means is that the resident-owners of the community control their rent and infrastructure. The parks are generally purchased on a limited-equity model to keep land speculation to a minimum. It is about creating a decent home and community. It is keeping true to the American Dream of both material ownership of one’s home and a sense of economic and social justice.
Last spring, John Oliver featured this movement on his show Last Week Tonight (it is worth watching):
ROCs create housing security and with it, stability. This model does something else. The people providing technical assistance to the communities undergo a rigorous training program. They help the residents learn how to manage a real estate business together and work with them through the closing. After the closing the community receives on-going support as part of the deal.
The ROC program provides tools to the community to engage personal development. this in turn, creates not just a place to hang one’s hat, but a home based on human dignity and community.