GARDEN CITY — On July 13, the residents of two mobile home parks on three separate lots in Garden City successfully bought out the previous owners. They purchased their communities with assistance from Idaho’s LEAP ROC, ROC USA®, ROC USA Capital and mission-minded landowners. The new community is called Buddy Dancer, and includes the 56 homes of the formerly Buddy Manor and Native Dancer communities located on 40th St in Garden City, one of the Boise metro’s fastest-gentrifying neighborhoods.
ROC USA’s national Resident Owned Community model provides tools, technical assistance and financing to help residents of manufactured housing communities buy their neighborhoods from previous owners at market rates. Residents continue to own their own homes individually and an equal share of the land beneath the entire neighborhood.
To buy the community, the Buddy Dancer residents formed a cooperative business, incorporated under Idaho Title 30. The members of the business voted to form a board of directors, and the board of directors received direct technical assistance from LEAP ROC.
“Idaho is a business friendly state,” said Matt Fast, LEAP ROC Program Director. “It also has a long history of success with cooperative governance structures in essential industries like utilities and groceries. It only makes sense to apply this model to affordable housing, now that it too, is essential.”
Management of the community is now directly under the members’ control. Everything is decided through democratic vote, giving residents the ability to have decision making power on rent amount, beautification and landscaping efforts, infrastructure improvements, and more. This special deal includes two sellers of the manufactured home communities formerly known as Buddy Manor and Native Dancer. The two sellers collaborated to make this deal possible.
“Collectively, the former owners worked with LEAP ROC and the community residents to provide a non-traditional deal in order to preserve the community,” said Bart Cochran, Executive Director of LEAP Housing Solutions.
This creative and business-centric approach allows residents to preserve naturally occurring affordable housing in markets where the ability to stay ahead of market conditions is quickly disappearing. LEAP ROC is currently looking for prospective manufactured home park sellers who would like to see their residents preserve the community.
“The Treasure Valley isn’t the secret it once was, and the tremendous growth pressure there is putting a real strain on neighborhoods that are affordable,” said ROC USA President Paul Bradley. “I’m thrilled that the 56 homeowners of Buddy Dancer can breathe a little easier knowing their homes are secure in a resident-owned community.”