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Homes and Community Renewal

NYS Homes and Community Renewal, ROC Usa® Capital and Pathstone Help Senior Geneseo Residents Buy Their Manufactured Home Park

Purchase Preserves 50 Finger Lakes Region Homes as Affordable Housing; Lakeville Estates Residents Proclaim “We Own It!”

$1.6 Million Loan Accelerates Finger Lakes Forward; Buys Cooperative Ownership at Lakeville Estates Manufactured Home Park

Geneseo, NY September 20, 2016: New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), ROC USA and PathStone today announced that thanks to a $1.6 million loan, homeowners in the 71-acre Lakeville Estates Manufactured Home Park took a big step toward securing their financial futures when they purchased the land beneath their homes. The funds will finance the land acquisition and conversion to cooperative ownership.
                                           
Lakeville Estates in Livingston County is part of Governor Cuomo’s unprecedented commitment to affordable housing and community renewal, which includes $20 billion for comprehensive statewide affordable housing and homelessness action plans.

“The Lakeville Estates residents’ rallying cry: “We Own It” has come true – the senior residents are in control of not only their homes but the land beneath those homes and now have the power to make cooperative decisions and changes that maintain sustainable, viable, affordable homes,” said HCR Commissioner James S. Rubin. ”Seniors, many of whom are on fixed and limited incomes, need the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their homes costs are stable. In keeping with Governor Cuomo’s goal of preserving housing, keeping people in their homes and promoting community revitalization, HCR staff worked with ROC USA, PathStone, and the homeowners to broker this cooperative agreement.”

In most manufactured home communities (also known as “mobile home parks”), residents own their homes, but not the land beneath them—making them vulnerable to site rent increases and even eviction, especially if the land should change hands. When Lakeville Estates was available for purchase, the community formed a cooperative-style residents association to buy the land. The land will belong to the resident corporation’s members in perpetuity — while preserving affordable housing in a prime Finger Lakes location.

ROC USA, a national non-profit organization that helps residents of for-sale manufactured home parks form resident corporations and buy their communities, provided the first mortgage. Paul Bradley, President, ROC USA said: “With their purchase of the community, the Lakeville Estates homeowners join a national network of 190 Resident Owned Communities (ROCs) in 14 states that together represent over 11,500 homeowners and, as a direct result, will be making a growing list of benefits that such scale generates available to its Lakeville Estates members.”   

Michael Sloss, Managing Director ROC USA Capital said: “ROC USA Capital is very pleased to support the Lakeville Estates homeowners in helping secure the long-term tenure on their land that seniors need to successfully age in place. The financing of Lakeville Estates by ROC USA Capital and the New York Housing Finance Agency is another stellar example of public-private partnership at work to preserve affordable homeownership in the state.”

Currently, the 50 homes on the property are owner-occupied and there are two adenoidal sites available in this community for seniors (aged 55-years-old and up). The lot rents range from $326 to $425 per month for all home sites. The rent includes garbage collection and snow plowing. Residents pay for their own electric, gas, heat and cable.  The Park is serviced by public water and sewers. Most homes have a two-car garage and a driveway for two cars.   

PathSto ne Corporation, a certified technical assistance provider with ROC USA® Network, is providing advice and technical assistance to the new cooperative, under the terms of the transaction. Assistance includes continuous co-op board training, leadership transition assistance, help working with professional management agents, and other kinds of operational technical assistance over the long term. PathStone is a regional non-profit organization that helps residents of for-sale manufactured home parks form resident corporations and buy their communities. PathStone will continue to provide technical assistance to the co-op for the length of the mortgage—at least 10 years.

Financing for the $1.6 million transaction came through HCR’s Housing Finance Agency (HFA) through its Manufactured Home Cooperative Fund Program (MHCFP). ROC USA Capital provided a first mortgage loan in the amount of $432,300.

Stuart J Mitchell, PathStone President and CEO said: "PathStone Corporation is honored to participate in the creation of a new and transformational life for Lakeville Village Manufactured Home Community.  With the help of an extraordinary leadership team comprised of elected officials, NYS Homes and Community Renewal, ROC USA Capital, and local community leaders, Lakeville is now owned by the people whose vision, tenacity and entrepreneurial drive made this conversion from private ownership to co-op ownership possible.  We need to also thank former community owners Bob Morgan and Jeff Cohen for their support and commitment to repurpose and restructure this community to benefit their former residents.  We are committed to supporting the Board of Directors of Lakeville Village as they work cooperatively and invest significant financial and personal resources to maintain the beauty and financial sustainability of this critically important community asset.  Going forward families living in this community will be able to experience a tangible return on their investment."

Richard Nereau, President of the Lakeville Village Interim Board, said: “As we are an adult community of people aged 55 and older, we were compelled to take action as the owner kept increasing the rent each year. One half our community, 25 out of 50 homes, is comprised of widows or widowers on a fixed income. We were being priced out of the market which had a negative impact on the value of our homes. The process to purchase our park would not have been possible if not for the HCR’s Housing Finance Agency, ROCUSA and PathStone to assist in guiding us to completion of resident ownership. It was a pleasure to be a part of the interim board whose members used their unique gifts to work as community leaders throughout this process. We were also blessed with an attorney who worked tirelessly on our behalf. We now embark on a journey that not only will benefit this generation of seniors, but will have a positive impact on generations to come by providing the affordability of manufactured housing.”

This is the sixth manufactured home cooperative that PathStone and ROC USA – in partnership with HCR – have assisted in New York. Others are: Marilla Country Gardens in Alden, Erie County; Champion Homes in Elbridge, Onondaga County; Meadow Valley in Unadilla, Otsego County; Venture Lake Estates in Hyde Park, Dutchess County and earlier this year, The Woodlands Community, in Hornell, Steuben County. Together, including Lakeville Estates, PathStone and ROC USA have helped a total of 572 New York manufactured home residences benefit from cooperative ownership. In this model, homeowners in the community each buy one low-cost share and become members of the resident corporation, with one vote on matters of the community. They elect a Board of Directors to act on day-to-day issues and vote on larger matters like the annual budget, by-laws and community rules.

The State’s Manufactured Home Cooperative Fund Program (MHCFP), is a revolving loan program created to assist residents in manufactured home parks to purchase the land underlying their homes, make infrastructure improvements, and form cooperatives. By owning and managing their parks, residents are able to take greater control over their housing costs and living conditions. The MHCFP was created in 1988 and to date, 20 loans totaling more than $26.9 million in MHCFP funds have assisted more than 1,439 families move to cooperative ownership of their parks.

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward

Today's announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $3.4 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.​

About the Partners

New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) includes the Affordable Housing Corporation, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the Housing Finance Agency, State of New York Mortgage Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and others. 2016 marks the fourth year of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion statewide House NY program, whose goal is to create or preserve 14,300 affordable units by 2018. In 2015, HCR set a record for financing the creation or preservation of more than 11,000 affordable homes and apartments and was the #1 bond issuer in the nation with $2.5 billion issued. The agency stands ready to make good on the Governor’s new $10 billion 100,000 unit House NY 2020 commitment. For more information on HCR programs and initiatives, please visit: http://www.nyshcr.org/.

ROC USA (www.rocusa.org) is a non-profit organization with a national network of eight organizations (such as PathStone) and a national financing source for co-ops. ROC USA® is sponsored by the Ford Foundation, NeighborWorks® America, NCB Capital Impact, the Corporation for Enterprise Development, and the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. The Community Loan Fund, a non-profit community development financial institution in New Hampshire, leveraged its experience with 108 resident-owned communities in that state to launch ROC USA with national partners in May 2008. Since then, ROC USA Network has helped 99 communities preserve 6,516 homes in 14 states.

Begun in 1969, PathStone (www.pathstone.org) is a private, not-for-profit regional community development and human service organization providing services to farmworkers, low-income families and economically depressed communities throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Vermont, Virginia and Puerto Rico. PathStone, an HCR pre-approved Technical Assistance Provider for MHCFP, has successfully operated a wide array of programs funded by federal, state, local, faith-based, and private sources.