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Grant Highlight: Education Key to Success of Resident Owned Communities


Resident Owned Communities (ROCs) provide affordable, stable housing solutions for some of the most vulnerable tenants groups - owners of manufactured homes.   A key component to the success of these communities is quality and ongoing cooperative education for resident-owners. In 2019, the CDF Education Fund provided four grants to support ROC education programs around the U.S. 


For six years, the  Northwest Cooperative Development Center  (NWCDC)  has hosted the Cascade Resident Owned Community Conference (CROCC). Thanks in part to a grant from the Education Fund, in 2019 the program was offered in Spanish and English allowing the participation of residents previously excluded by language barriers. 


“CROCC is designed to facilitate conversations between community leaders and underscores the fact that they are not alone;” said Daniel  Arrañaga, Cooperative Development Specialist, NWCDC, “there are others like them who face similar challenges and celebrations.”


The Education Fund also provided grants to NeighborWorks Montana's ROC Summit, ROC USA's  Leadership Institute, and  New Hampshire Community Loan Fund's Cooperative Training. Attendees enhanced leadership capabilities, gained deeper knowledge of cooperatives, and learned skills to implement positive change in their cooperative communities. 


“The cooperative model that ROCs follow make resident ownership viable for residents of varying socioeconomic backgrounds, including those that are very low income” said Danielle Maiden, ROC Program Manager, NeighborWorks Montana. “The information provided in these trainings help participants to meet other ROCs and develop knowledge that they can use to grow and strengthen their communities." 


ROCs provide owners of manufactured homes with the

opportunity to live in a community where they collectively own the land. Cooperative ownership allows residents to control  costs, prevent unfair evictions, and provide liability protection. Democratically run, ROC residents have a say in major decisions, such as electing a board of directors and appointing committees to manage day-to-day operations. 


About the CDF Cooperative Education Fund 

The CDF Cooperative Education Fund supports cooperative research, sponsors cooperative education events and scholarships, and develops cooperative education materials and programs. The Fund provides $90,000-$100,000 in grants, scholarships, and sponsorships annually. For more information about the fund or to apply for a grant go to cdf.coop/cooperative-education.   The deadline for the 2020 Spring grant cycle is May 1.

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