This success story is about a project that was completed under a housing program of Community Resource Group (CRG), the Southern RCAP. CRG is one of RCAP’s six regional partners, which are autonomous organizations that each operate many programs. Some of the programs of each regional partner fall under the national RCAP umbrella of nationwide programs that address water and waste water needs. But other programs of RCAP’s regional partners fall outside RCAP’s national programs. We feature the success stories from these other programs on occasion here as a way of lifting up the important work of RCAP’s regional partners, regardless of the issues it addresses.
Nearly 100 families now own the land under their homes, thanks to efforts by Community Resource Group (CRG).
CRG’s Resident Owned Communities (ROC) USA™ program closed the sale of the Pasadena Trails Manufactured Home Park in Pasadena, Texas, on June 30, 2009. The sale turned over ownership of the park to a nonprofit corporation composed of park residents.
The move gave the residents control of the land under their manufactured homes.
CRG staff members Hugh Earnest, Bill Morgan, Elaine Crutchfield and John Squires worked long hours to complete the project, a task that took nearly 11 months. But the end result was worth all the effort.
“What is the most exciting and satisfying part of this process, from our perspective here at CRG, is watching the growth and enthusiasm among the residents as they realize that this model enables them to assume control and take charge of where they live,” said Earnest, Resident Owned Community Specialist.
The park has 114 spaces for mobile homes and currently is occupied by 96 households, according to Resident Owned
Community Specialist Bill Morgan.
CRG helped the residents set up a nonprofit corporation to apply for financing through ROC USA Capital, which will service the loan.
Though most of the residents had signed up to be a part of the nonprofit, Morgan said CRG was working to sign up the rest of the residents after the deal had gone through.
“It’s really a good deal for residents,” Morgan said. Otherwise, their rents would have gone up, rather than be the set price of the nonprofit’s participants.
CRG also was hoping to keep rents down by bringing in a new manager, Morgan said. The manager’s goal was to increase occupancy, which will keep the rents at the current level or even drop them, since the nonprofit cannot earn more than it can spend.
Morgan said part of the setup work included dividing the money to benefit the park in the best way possible.
CRG helped the residents set up a reserve fund for repairs within the park. They also set up a capital improvements fund to pay for expansions or useful additions to the property. A debt services reserve will pay the premiums, interest and property tax for the park. Any excess money can go for more improvements or for special events, such as a park-wide get-together.
This was the first sale of this type that CRG staff had completed.
“This is an exciting moment for CRG as it opens another chapter of assisting families work toward a better future,” said CRG’s Chief Operating Officer Joe Lake immediately after the sale became final.