ROC and Roll

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.

















About John McNamara

John spent 26 years with Union Cab of Madison Cooperative and currently helps develop co-op in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration and Masters in Management: Co-operatives and Credit Unions from Saint Mary's University. He has served on the board of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the Board of Governors for the late, great Democracy at Work Network. He currently sits on the Co-op Circle for Sociocracy for All. He has taught on worker co-operatives and democratic management in the summer at The Evergreen State College and Presidio Graduate School.
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1 Response to ROC and Roll

  1. Pingback: Co-op Accounting: Business Services Co-op | The Workers' Paradise

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