Vida Lea Mobile Estates
Residents of Vida Lea Mobile Estates Convert their Park
into a Resident-Owned Community
Leaburg: The Community and Shelter Assistance Corporation (CASA of Oregon) is pleased to announce that on February 17th residents of the 33-space Vida Lea Mobile Estates, a senior park in Leaburg, completed the purchase of their community. Utilizing financing and technical assistance from CASA of Oregon, the Network for Oregon Affordable Housing, Oregon Housing and Community Services, the Community Development Law Center and the Eugene Water & Electric Board, residents organized and formed the Vida Lea Community Cooperative in order to convert their park into a resident-owned community and make necessary infrastructure repairs.
“The more we learned about it and how it worked, the majority of us, I think, became a lot more interested in doing it,” said Dan Fountain, the Cooperative’s Vice President. “We could see the advantages to it. One of the advantages is having control over what happens to the park, and being able to control our rents.”
Now that the park is under resident control, the Cooperative will begin significant infrastructure improvements with the assistance of CASA of Oregon, including replacement of a dilapidated septic system. “The park is beautiful now, but it’s going to be really beautiful when we get through redoing everything,” said Travis Blythe, one of the Cooperative’s board members.
CASA of Oregon will continue to provide technical assistance to the Cooperative, delivering management training and utilizing available resources to help individual residents upgrade or replace their homes.
The conversion follows on the heels of three other resident-owned communities that CASA of Oregon has assisted – Horizon Homeowners Cooperative in McMinnville, OR, Green Pastures Senior Cooperative in Redmond, OR and Saunders Creek Homeowners Cooperative in Gold Beach, OR.
Resident ownership occurs when owners of manufactured homes form a non-profit membership association to purchase their community when it becomes available for sale. Without resident ownership, homeowners risk eviction when a community is sold to a new owner who may convert the land to other uses, or impose higher land rents over which the homeowners have no control. In Oregon, once a community is purchased by residents under the non-profit cooperative model, it must remain a manufactured home park, and can only be sold in the future to a similar non-profit entity.
In 2006 and in 2008, CASA of Oregon was awarded grants under the Corporation for Enterprise Development’s I’M HOME program, with match funding from Oregon Housing and Community Services, to develop a replicable model for resident ownership of manufactured home communities in Oregon. In May 2008, CASA of Oregon became one of nine Certified Technical Assistance Providers (CTAPs) under the national ROC USA network. As a member of the ROC USA Network, CASA of Oregon delivers pre- and post-purchase technical assistance and support in securing financing to help manufactured homeowners buy their communities and secure their economic futures through resident ownership.
April 22, 2012
McKenzie River Reflections