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Photo of Colonial Estates Homeowners Association in Taunton, MA
 

Colonial Estate Homeowners Association Says ‘We Own It’

 

To the 148 members of Colonial Estate Homeowners Association, nothing symbolizes their new ownership status more than the “We own it” banner hanging outside the main building of their mobile home community.

 

To the 148 members of Colonial Estate Homeowners Association, nothing symbolizes their new ownership status more than the “We own it” banner hanging outside the main building of their mobile home community.

Located in Taunton, Mass., Colonial Estates is home to people 55 years and older. In September 2016, the land beneath their manufactured homes became theirs, with $11 million in financing from National Cooperative Bank (NCB), ROC USA and insurance leader MetLife. 

Colonial Estates marked NCB’s third transaction with ROC USA and MetLife to finance resident-owned manufactured home communities (ROCs). ROC USA is a national nonprofit that helps manufactured-home residents own their community.  

Now operating as a cooperative, Colonial Estates brings greater security to its resident-owners, most of whom are retirees.

“It’s not just about owning the property but controlling our future,” says resident and board president Michael Scarlett. “The association is in the business to make sure we can pay our bills, not to make money as an investor would.”

For years, the 57.5-acre property was owned and managed by outsiders. Maintenance wasn’t always stellar, and residents worried about rising costs. Yet, when an opportunity arose in 2013 for the community to purchase the property, they hesitated.

“People worried that it was too expensive to buy the land or that the monthly mortgage would be too high,” Scarlett recalls.  “They voted against purchasing the property.”

A second chance appeared, however, when the property came up for sale again in 2015. This time, Colonial Estates residents had a different attitude. Just six months earlier, Oak Hill Taunton, a similar manufactured home park across the street, had become resident-owned with help from ROC USA. Word of the successful property acquisition filtered over to Colonial Estates. 

Working with ROC USA, Colonial Estates’ residents formed their cooperative and then collectively bought the land from the owner. The new homeowners are now poised to improve their neighborhood while controlling monthly housing costs in a local market with rapidly escalating lot rents. 

“NCB’s expertise in cooperative housing and our mission of supporting communities helped the members of Colonial Estates become homeowners,” says Ann Fedorchak, NCB’s director of Cooperative and Community Development. “They’ve taken control, and it’s changed their lives.”

“ROC USA Capital was extremely proud to provide fixed-rate, long-term financing in partnership with NCB and MetLife to enable the low- and moderate-income seniors at Colonial Estates to age in place and take long-term control of their neighborhood,” says Michael Sloss, ROC USA managing director. “We look forward to seeing the community improvements that are planned and how Colonial Estates will thrive over the next several years.”