Cooperatively Owned Manufactured Home Communities
In 2009, LEAF began providing a loan product to serve the low-income resident-owners of manufactured home communities. HUD estimates there are more than 50,000 manufactured home communities representing 3.5 million families, the overwhelming majority of whom are low-income.
Each community or “park” is composed, on average, of about 100 to 300 families. Most of these families currently rent the land from an investor who owns it. This creates an interesting dynamic. Although the residents own their own homes, they can be displaced at any time if the owner of the land decides to sell it for development purposes. In addition, these families are vulnerable to arbitrary rent increases and depend on the goodwill of the land owner if they want to add, for instance, a playground.
LEAF works in coordination with the non-profit ROC USA whose development partners assist the residents of these communities to form a cooperative. LEAF, in conjunction with other CDFIs, then provides funding to the cooperative to purchase the land where coop members’ homes sit.
In this way, the residents not only own their homes, but also the land through the cooperative. They no longer have the constant fear of being displaced and can now decide as a community, the type of facilities they want for their park.