Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others.
Resident owned communities (ROC) are member-owned manufactured housing cooperatives. In a resident owned community, democracy is a core value that impacts the way it operates. In a ROC, member owners have a voice that counts. Everyone has a say in the way the ROC is run, and major decisions are made by democratic vote. Members elect a board of directors to represent their interests, which appoints committees to carry out various tasks and manage the day-to-day operations of the organization.
Members vote to decide what their community rules will be and vote on their bylaws which govern how the cooperatives operate (i.e. member eligibility and board roles). Resident Owned Communities like any other cooperative adhere to a set up values and principles that help guide how decisions are made.
- Voluntary and open membership: Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
- Democratic member control: Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and decision making.
- Member economic participation: Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.
- Autonomy and independence: Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members.
- Education, training and information: Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative.
- Cooperation among cooperatives: Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by cooperating with one another.
- Concern for community: While focusing on members’ needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.
Becoming a Resident Owned Community
Most communities in Washington are able to become a resident owned community because the owner has heard about the program and approaches ROC Northwest before listing the community for sale. While the owner must notify several state organizations prior to closing, residents of manufactured housing communities do not have the right to purchase the park when the owner decides to sell.
Over the past few years the Washington State Association of Manufactured Home Owners has been leading the advocacy to support Opportunity to Purchase legislation. The law would give you, the residents, the ability to have a fair chance at purchasing the community when it is listed for sale. Join the association to learn more about how you can become an advocate!