MA Regional ROC Event a Success!
by Maureen Carroll Dennis and Colleen Preston
To the uninitiated, resident-ownership may not rock your world. But to those in the trenches, and those who truly are taking a shot at “living the American dream,” this new wave of eminently affordable home ownership is a very big deal. So, it comes as no surprise that excitement was definitely in the air when CDI recently sponsored its annual regional gathering of homeowners representing resident-owned communities from all over Massachusetts – along with a few from Rhode Island, the new state among CDI’s ROC’s as of January.
The regional event, which has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, was hosted by Town and Country Estates in Kingston, MA – a community which took the plunge and purchased their community just over a year ago.
CDI is part of the ROC USA Network of resident-owned communities all over the country – currently numbering at 219, consisting of over 14,000 individual homes – all of them rescued from investor ownership, sale, or even demolition. The business model that ROC USA and CDI use provides 110% financing so residents living in manufactured home developments can purchase the land their homes sit on, thereby ensuring stable lot rents, democratic control of their communities and safe, affordable living in a largely untapped market.
Approximately 50 board members, committee members, and interested residents attended the day-long event which featured workshops and a panel focused on “Celebrating Principle 6 – Cooperation Among Co-ops.” Principle 6 is an initiative promoting cooperative connections across a wide range of industries and social constructs. The name derives from the 6th principle of the International Cooperative Alliance Principles – Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
Representatives from prominent New England cooperatives were the panelists who participated in a wide-ranging discussion that included a summary history of the cooperative movement from the 1700’s to the present day. Participants included Maggie Cohn from the Greater Boston
Chamber of Cooperatives, Jon Seward and Matthew Thall from The Massachusetts Association of Housing Cooperatives and Nick Manahan from Cabot Creamery.
Workshops presented throughout the day included topics on renewable and efficient energy, bringing in capital for ROC projects, financial management and cooperation among cooperatives.