Two more parks convert to resident ownership; ROC total now 143

By News

Homeowner cooperatives in Fremont and Hollis have purchased their manufactured-home parks, boosting the number of resident-owned communities in N.H to 143.

Homeowner cooperatives in Fremont and Hollis purchased their manufactured-home parks this spring, boosting the number of resident-owned communities (ROCs) in New Hampshire to 143, containing 8,674 house lots.

In Fremont, the homeowners in Poplin Estates Cooperative avoided eviction by buying the 56-unit Withams Countryside Mobile Home Park. The co-op matched the $2.85-million offer made by Patriot Holdings of Las Vegas, and finalized the deal March 31 with a mortgage from the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund.

The sale encountered unexpected infrastructure and environmental issues. The co-op's board of directors and ROC-NH made sure the members were informed of the difficulties and their options. The members then voted to control their own housing destiny and buy their park.

“It was a long process to become a co-op, but ROC-NH was right with us every step of the way," said Poplin Estates Vice President Neal Janvrin. "We are very excited to make Poplin Estates a pleasant place to live and enjoy. Our members are all very supportive. At our recent meeting, we had 51 out of 56 homes engaged.”

“Affordable housing is a crisis across New Hampshire,” said “Fremont’s proximity made the park attractive to private investors who might have bought and closed the park, to use the land for a different purpose. The risk of eviction for these families was real.”

In Hollis, Hollis Pines Cooperative purchased the 88-unit Pitarys Mobile Home Park to become N.H.'s 143rd ROC. Patriot Holdings was again the competing buyer, and the co-op matched its $5-million offer with a mortgage from the Community Loan Fund.

The co-op's members and directors persevered through numerous obstacles, including the news that the park's water was contaminated. The co-op will work with the N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services to ensure clean drinking water.

After all that, the deal's closing almost felt anticlimactic, but “gaining self-control for our members made it all worth it," said Hollis Pines Treasurer Carol Gagne.

“Home prices in N.H .continue to surge, contributing to a statewide housing crisis,” says Tara Reardon, Community Loan Fund Vice President for ROC-NH and External Relations. “Manufactured-home parks have become a target for equity investors to purchase and make huge profits by raising the homeowners' rents to unaffordable levels. We commend these homeowners for taking control of their futures and keeping their homes affordable for now and in the future.”

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