Thistle Joins ROC USA

Thistle Joins ROC USA

Homeowners in Colorado who live in mobile home communities will for the first time have the financing and technical expertise necessary to make resident ownership a reality through a collaboration between Thistle and the national ROC (Residential Owned Communities) USA Network.

ROC USA and Thistle signed agreements making Thistle the ninth Certified Technical Assistance Provider in the organization’s network, which helps homeowners in for-sale manufactured home communities (MHCs) form cooperative corporations to purchase, own, and operate their neighborhoods. Thistle will initially focus on communities in the six counties of the Front Range Urban Corridor.

The average MHC monthly site rent in the six-county area, according to JLT Associates’ 2016 survey, was $629 per month, which compares favorably with the average rent for a two-bedroom Denver apartment of $1,487 per month.

“Having seen the impact of homeownership to families through Thistle’s Community Land Trust, we are great supporters of homeownership in mobile home communities,” said Mary Duvall, CEO of the Boulder nonprofit since 2007. “Resident ownership through ROC USA provides sellers a qualified and quick-close buyer, no displacement and the opportunity to improve infrastructure. The time is right in Colorado.”

Thistle is a local mission-driven non-profit that’s dedicated to planning, development and management of affordable housing. The organization ensures that working families, disabled and elderly residents in Boulder County are able to live and work where they want.

ROC USA was launched in May 2008 by national and regional nonprofits that joined together to make quality resident ownership viable nationwide and to expand economic opportunities for homeowners in manufactured (mobile) home communities. Based on the nearly 25 years of similar work in New Hampshire, ROC USA now works with 200 resident-owned communities (ROCs) in 14 states.

“We’re thrilled to have Thistle, our third NeighborWorks® organization, on board” said Mary O’Hara, director of ROC USA Network. “Thistle has been active in the manufactured home industry for more than a decade, and is deeply committed to preserving and promoting manufactured housing as affordable homeownership. Most importantly, we’re providing affordable neighborhoods where there is a vital need for them.”

To learn more about ROC USA, visit the website rocusa.org.

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Sally Moser

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