Two nights ago, residents of Burlington’s only mobile home park, Farrington’s Mobile Home Park, took preliminary steps towards taking control of their own destiny and purchasing the community as a resident owned co-op.

How did this come to fruition? Under Vermont law, when a park goes up for sale, residents have the option to either purchase as a co-op, or they can appoint a non-profit to purchase and run the community on their behalf..” Either way, households can effectively take their community off of the speculative real estate market while improving their living conditions. For more background, watch Jeremiah Ward, a CDI Housing Cooperative Developer, appear on CCTV discussing this historic opportunity in Burlington.

At the mobile home park meeting on Tuesday, fifty households showed up, braving a snowstorm, and were given three choices: 1) go co-op, 2) go non-profit, or 3) keep both non-profit and co-op options open for a bit longer. Thirty-eight residents voted to go with the co-op model, eleven voted for either a non-profit or a co-op approach, and one voted for the non-profit model.Given the treacherous winter conditions, the fifty households was only representative of half of the one hundred and one households eligible to vote. Yet this outcome demonstrates that a critical mass towards a co-op purchase is forming quickly. And even the mayor of Burlington, Miro Weinberger, was in attendance to witness the event! Of course, signatures still need to be collected from the other eligible households for this to become official, and the community at large must agree that the co-op model is the best option for them. If that happens, then the hard work of creating a cooperative structure and raising the necessary capital to purchase the community will begin!

The meeting of fifty Farrington Households. Picture by Cooperative Vermont.

The next meeting of the mobile home park households is scheduled for January 7th, with the deadline for formally deciding on their model being January 22nd. During this time, CDI will be working with residents to answer any questions they have about resident ownership and will be connecting residents with members of existing mobile home cooperatives throughout the state. We will keep you updated on Farrington’s progress.

In a display of co-ops supporting the co-op economy, food was provided by the City Market Co-op, and all photos were taken by Cooperative Vermont.

Burlington’s Only Mobile Home Park Takes a Step Towards Cooperative Ownership
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