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Manufactured home park in Hill purchased by residents

From left, Brookside Cooperative Secretary Lynzey Ly and President David Kirsch. Photo courtesy NH Community Loan Fund. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
September 08, 2021
HILL — The homeowners in Brookside Mobile Home Park recently purchased their 21-unit manufactured-home park, making it New Hampshire's 139th resident-owned community (ROC).

Using training and technical assistance from the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund's ROC-NH™ team, homeowners organized and formed Brookside Cooperative, Inc. in April 2021.

The cooperative then negotiated with the park's owners, Timothy and Sherri Minor, reached a $440,000 purchase price, and finalized the deal Aug. 31 with a mortgage from the Community Loan Fund.

Sherri Minor said, "Being a family-owned and -operated business has made us really understand the people and know them and their families. I have great comfort in knowing they own it as a group. I know what it means to them."

Co-op President David Kirsch said that through the work of buying their community he has already seen a heightened sense of responsibility and more engagement among Brookside's residents.

"We are making plans for getting all urgent repairs completed and looking to the future to see what else we can do to improve the condition of the park. There is a growing sense of community that I didn't see before. I can envision our small park hosting events for our residents to enjoy together," he said. "None of this would have been possible had we chose to just let some other private investor buy the park."

On the day of the closing, co-op Treasurer Ellie Duclos remembered the day she phoned ROC-NH's office looking for help.

"I called because I didn't want to see the park bought out. As a ROC, we have the control and ability to do what needs to be done," she said. "We have an amazing board, each with their own unique outlooks, abilities, and experiences that I believe will bring this park together to form a fantastic community."

Brookside Cooperative is Merrimack County's 20th ROC. Those communities contain 1,201 permanently affordable homes.

Cooperative ownership means Brookside's homeowners are now eligible for products and services, including real mortgages, that haven't been available to them. Studies show that when the land is secure, the availability of home financing improves the home's value, the owner's ability to make improvements, and overall housing affordability.

The nearly-8,500 homeowners in New Hampshire's ROCs, spread across every county, also have access to management guidance, technical assistance, and leadership training in which they earn college credit through ROC-NH and its national network, ROC USA.

For 38 years, the Community Loan Fund has worked across New Hampshire to connect people, families, and business owners with the loans, training, and advice that allow them to have affordable homes, secure jobs, and quality child care, and become more economically stable.

A complete list of ROCs in New Hampshire is available at https://www.communityloanfund.org/co-op-list/.

More information on the Community Loan Fund is online at www.communityloanfund.org.

About the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund

The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, based in Concord, turns investments into loans and education to create opportunity and transform lives. We collaborate with a wide range of donors and investors, and with business, nonprofit and government partners, to provide the financing and support people need to have affordable homes, have quality jobs and child care, and become financially independent. Established in 1983, the Community Loan Fund was one of the first Community Development Financial Institutions in the nation, and has received industry awards and recognition for social impact, financial strength, and performance. www.communityloanfund.org

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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