Zorotheos started Googling: “How do you buy a mobile home park?”
The answer: Rally the residents. It would take somebody who knew everybody, and luckily, Zorotheos matched that description.
What followed was a scramble to gather everyone, a vote in favor of buying the park themselves, and a crash-course in forming a cooperative and getting loans. When the owners of Oak Hill brought the issue to court, unsure if they could pull out of the deal with the company they had agreed to sell to, Zorotheos worked the phones once again, urging residents to come to court and lend their support. Dozens did, riding a school bus to a hearing.
The residents won, and they bought the park with a loan from Resident Owned Communities USA, a nonprofit that helps mobile home residents organize and get financing. The residents’ rents went up slightly but it gave them control.
“For just $37 more a month, we could own and run our own park; it was incredible,” she said. “We fought a lot, but we won, and that was the best thing.”
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