Tara Reardon

Secure, stable, affordable and great places to live

By Tara Reardon

An affordable-housing movement born in New Hampshire in 1984 is starting to crack the public's consciousness.

Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to our local Kiwanis club. I was invited by a New Hampshire Community Loan Fund board member who thought the club would share his interest in how the ROC-NH™ manufactured-home-park conversion program works.

I arrived with a PowerPoint and handouts, and spent some time presenting, but mostly answering questions.

Our ROC-NH team is passionate about the work we do, and we're accustomed to explaining what we do, what a manufactured home is, what a resident-owned community (ROC) is, and that N.H. is home to a successful movement that is spreading nationwide, thanks to ROC USA.

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The families at Meredith Center Cooperative in 1984

I always secretly hope that someone will already know all of that, and will stop me mid-sentence. I dream that someday ROCs will be so typical that everyone will either live in a ROC themselves, or know or work with someone that does; the latter is not unusual at the first residents meeting when a park is up for sale.

In the first few minutes at the Kiwanis meeting I told the group that I would tell them the Meredith story—the story of New Hampshire's first cooperative conversion back in 1984. A woman smiled and nodded—and I asked her if she knew the story. She did.

She attended Interlakes High School in Meredith in 1983 and had a friend who lived in the park. She said everyone in the community was very excited that the community was able to be saved. Ah ha! She was also under then impression that Meredith Center Cooperative was the only ROC in N.H., and was surprised to learn that there are 118 others in all corners of the state.

Another Kiwanian knew the story of Deer Estates Cooperative in Milan N.H. (cooperative #113). His family lives down the road and also was happy to see that community preserved by the residents. The park, located on prime real estate on the North Country's popular ATV trail network, had been on the foreclosure block, and in 10 days ROC-NH engineered a sale to the cooperative. 

So the education campaign continues. We will keep delivering the message that manufactured homes in ROCs are secure, stable, affordable and great places to live, whether you are raising a family or aging in place. Help us spread the word.

Tara Reardon is the Director of ROC-NH.

ROC-NH™ is a program of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, Inc. and a ROC USA® Certified Technical Assistance Provider.
ROC-NH is a registered service mark of ROC USA, LLC.