About 115 residents in a La Crosse manufactured housing community became the newest resident-owned community in Wisconsin. Pammel Creek Estates, Inc., a Wisconsin nonprofit organization, organized by and for residents of a property once known as Pleasant Valley Estates, purchased the 59-unit manufactured housing community. Organized as a nonprofit, the organization will be governed by cooperative principles: one-member, one-vote, operation at cost, for the mutual benefit of the low- and moderate-income homeowners that reside in the community.
“It has been a long road,” notes Bobbie Grubb, Interim Board Secretary, who helped spearhead the resident purchase effort with four other interim Board members since May 2016, “but we are already seeing changes in our community.” In more than a dozen meetings of Board members and resident-members, and in partnership with NCF, a nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis, the residents engaged an attorney, engineers and a home inspector to investigate the property’s physical condition and operating history.
At member meetings, residents have come to know their neighbors, practiced parliamentary procedure and driven the purchase through a process used around the country. NCF is an affiliate of ROC USA, a nonprofit social enterprise that through its subsidiaries, provides financing for resident purchase and support for technical assistance by eight nonprofits like NCF currently serving 28 states.
“The residents saw the benefit of owning and operating their community from the very beginning and have stuck with it through numerous obstacles,” said Julie Martinez, a cooperative housing specialist with NCF, and the organization’s primary project lead. Pammel Creek Estates will hold their first annual member meeting and celebration in late January.
Since its organization in May 2008, ROC USA certified technical assistance providers have supported more than 200 communities becoming resident-owned. ROC USA Capital financed the resident purchase.