The ROC Northwest program is an affiliate of ROC USA, using a limited equity cooperative model to establish resident owned communities (ROCs) in manufactured housing communities. ROC Northwest has a team of certified technical assistance providers that work with resident members to secure the purchase of their community and navigate park ownership post purchase.
The ROC Northwest program does not own any manufactured housing communities, they are owned by the cooperative corporation.
When Your Community Is Listed For Sale
Washington Residents – Seven Steps To Resident Ownership
For more information including a deeper understanding of the ROC model, each step to ownership, and informational videos visit the WA Department of Commerce (English Resources) and (Recursos en Español).
1.Organize A Community Meeting – Immediately after residents are notified about the intent to sell, a community wide meeting needs to be scheduled. All residents in the park need to know if there is a path to resident ownership and be given the opportunity to ask questions. At this meeting residents will be given information about the resident owned community (ROC) program. They will also be given a draft budget that shows how much it would cost to purchase the park.
2. Get Members and Votes – All residents who are homeowners are given the opportunity to join the cooperative and then vote to form a housing cooperative. Residents are NOT voting to buy the park at this time, just simply organizing as a group.
3. Set The Interim Board of Directors and Adopt Articles of Incorporation – The cooperative is represented by a five person Board of Directors. These are the residents that will work with ROC Northwest to review documents and will be the main point of contact in the community. Nominations for the Board are taken during the vote to form a cooperative. The Board then needs to sign the Articles of Incorporation to register as a business with the Secretary of State. This is simply a document that describes the business and its purpose.
4. Respond To Owner Letter With Purchase Offer – ROC Northwest has been helping residents purchase their community since 2008. ROC Northwest will provide their expert technical assistance on the creation of a competitive purchase and sale agreement. To help show the Seller that the residents can really purchase their park, the agreement will be executed by ROC Northwest and then signed over to the cooperative.
5. Execute Due Diligence, Secure Financing and Adopt Policies – IF the owner accepts the offer this will be the time to do a physical inspection of the park, determine what work needs to be done in the park and how much it will cost, and get the loan. During this time the Board of Directors will also create community rules, bylaws, and other essential policies.
6. Purchase the Park – After all of the inspections are complete and the loan is finalized, the cooperative will purchase the park! This requires a “yes” vote from 80% of the residents. It is important to remember that the cooperative business is purchasing the park and getting the loan, NOT the residents.
7. Own and Operate the Park! – After the cooperative purchases the park, ROC Northwest will help the Board of Directors with the complex task of being the voice of the land owner. ROC Northwest will be available to answer questions and provide assistance for at least 10 years.
North Idaho Residents – Ten Steps To Resident Ownership
1.Organize A Community Meeting – All residents in the park need to know that there is a path to resident ownership and given the opportunity to ask questions. If you and your neighbors form an organization, then Idaho Statue Chapter 55 Title 2013A means that your park owner has to tell you when they plan on selling. If the owner selects your organization as the buyer, they receive fair market value for the land through a bank that will give the organization the loan.
2. Get Votes and Members – All of the residents are given the opportunity to join the cooperative as members and then vote to incorporate as a limited equity housing cooperative. Residents are NOT voting to buy the park at this time, just simply organizing as a housing cooperative. To move to the next step there needs to be at least 51% of the residents join the cooperative.
3. Form The Board of Directors and Adopt Articles of Incorporation – The housing cooperative is represented by a five person Board of Directors. Nominations for the Board are taken during the vote to incorporate. The Articles of Incorporation are needed to register with the Secretary of State.
4. Incorporate – This is easiest step and is done online.
5. Inform The Owner – This is done by a certified letter that states that the housing cooperative is formed and interested in purchasing the park if, and when, they want to sell.
6. Organize a Membership Meeting (Annually) – The cooperative bylaws state that there needs to be an annual meeting to review any finical documents and act on any new business like keeping the owner informed of the intent to purchase.
7. Respond To Owner Letter With Purchase Offer – If, and when, the owner sells the park they must tell the cooperative. Time Is of the essence and an offer must be submitted quickly.
8. Execute Due Diligence and Adopt Policies – IF the owner accepts the offer this will be the first time that real financial information is available. This will also be the time to create community rules and other essential policies.
9. Purchase the Park – After all of the inspections are complete and the loan package is finalized, the cooperative will purchase the park! This requires a vote from 80% of the membership.
10. Own and Operate the Park! – After the cooperative purchases the park, ROC Northwest will help the Board of Directors with the complex task of being the voice of the land owner. ROC Northwest will be available to answer questions and provide assistance for at least 10 years.
Even if your manufactured home community is not for sale there are steps you can take to be prepared.
- Join the WA Association of Manufactured Home Owners to stay up to date on legislation that affects you and your neighbors.
- Talk with your neighbors about the different forms of ownership – cooperative, non-profit, housing authority, community land trust and investor.
- Participate in free or low cost trainings to gain a deeper understanding of cooperative ownership. The National Association of Housing Cooperatives is a good place to start.
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). ROCs 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.