August 23, 2019 – New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas today announced that the Brittany Terrace manufactured home park in Orange County has been converted into a resident-owned community that will preserve long-term affordability for seniors.
Through a $10.4 million investment by HCR, the land beneath the neighborhood in Rock Tavern will be owned by 74 homeowners in Brittany Terrace. Residents of the 55 and older community were facing an uncertain future when the park went up for sale earlier this year. The investment was made in partnership with ROC USA and PathStone.
“Residents of Brittany Terrace now have control over the management of their community and can live without fear of exorbitant rental increases,” Commissioner Visnauskas said. “Investments such as this, which ensure these neighborhoods will remain affordable for current and future homeowners for years to come, build upon this year’s overhaul of state rent regulations which took historic steps to protect residents of manufactured home parks.”
This investment is part of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing is reflected in the State's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan.
The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multi- and single-family housing and community development.
In many manufactured home communities, residents own their homes but not the land beneath them. This makes homeowners vulnerable to rent increases and eviction, especially when ownership of the land changes. By purchasing the property, homeowners are empowered to make major decisions as a unified community. On average, resident-owned communities raise site fees less than one-fourth of the industry average.
Brittany Terrace is home to 74 households with at least one resident over the age of 55. After learning that the park was going up for sale, PathStone reached out to residents to offer assistance with purchasing the property.
Financing for transaction included $5.2 million in federal HOME funds allocated by HCR and a $5.2 million loan from ROC USA Capital.
New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, “Safe, affordable housing is critical to helping older New Yorkers maintain their independence and is a key component of being an age-friendly state. This latest investment will help the older residents of Brittany Terrace age in place and remain connected to their community.”
Senator James Skoufis said, “When discussing tenant protections, manufactured home owners have far-too-often been overlooked. It’s imperative that mobile home tenants have a voice in their community which is why I’m delighted that Brittany Terrace is being converted to a resident-owned community. Seniors are some of our most vulnerable citizens to predatory landlord practices and rent hike, so I am extremely glad this community, with the aid of New York State, was able to gain full ownership of their land and with that, long-term security of their livelihood.”
Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt said, “This is a great day for the residents of Brittany Terrace. Before I was even sworn in to office, residents from Brittany Terrace reached out for support as they sought to purchase the manufactured home park land and control their own future. With this $10.4 million investment from PathStone they have achieved that goal and I applaud them on their success. Brittany Terrace is a 55-and-old community, with many residents on fixed incomes. The men and women who live here are an integral part our community and want to stay in their hometown. With the state’s investment through PathStone, they will be able to do just that.”
Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said, Home ownership is part of the American dream It allows residents to take control of their future and this initiative will greatly benefit the residents of Brittany Terrace. I appreciate the work performed by ROC USA and PathStone on this project, which makes our community stronger.”
Stuart Mitchell, President/CEO of PathStone, said, “We are very impressed with the tenacity and persistence of the people in this new resident-owned community. By working together, they now have the opportunity to create and preserve long term assets for themselves and their families. We greatly appreciate the confidence of HCR in our manufactured home co-op program and look forward to continuing our partnership with HCR to help land-lease manufactured homeowners to own the communities in which they live.”
ROC USA President Paul Bradley said, “Resident ownership ensures homeowners have a stable community to call home with predictable costs that become even more affordable over time. But becoming a co-op is also the first step toward the transition from a neighborhood to a true community, where Members increasingly know one another and look out for their neighbors’ well-being and best interests.”
Preserving affordable communities through cooperative ownership of manufactured home parks is a priority for several national non-profit organizations. In 2008, ROC USA was established to help make resident-owned communities viable nationwide. ROC USA is sponsored by NeighborWorks America, Capital Impact Partners, Prosperity Now and the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund.
ROC USA Network affiliates such as PathStone have helped 247 communities preserve more than 16,800 homes in 16 states since 1984. www.rocusa.org
PathStone has helped achieve resident ownership in 13 manufactured home communities across New York. PathStone provides training and facilitates financing for groups of homeowners to enable them to purchase and improve their community and operate it as a limited equity co-op. Founded in 1969, PathStone is a nonprofit organization with a mission of transforming lives and communities through building assets for low- and moderate-income people, including manufactured home communities.