Tuesday, December 27. 2005
VIDEO FOCUSES ON RESIDENT-OWNED HOUSING PARKS
By LORI ANN CHAUVETTE
The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund and Heartwood Media got together recently to talk with residents in Northwood and Belmont about their experiences in a cooperative manufactured housing park for a new video to promote the cooperatives within the state and beyond.
Chris Conroy of Heartwood Media said that the project started after his firm was contacted by the N.H. Community Loan Fund about doing a video for the Manufactured Housing Park Program. He thought it was a great opportunity to promote the program.
"It's a unique program; it gives homes to people who wouldn't otherwise have one," he said.
The program, according to the NHCLF website, is the oldest and most developed program offered. It offers loans, technical assistance and expertise in existing and new manufactured housing parks. It allows residents in a manufactured home park to buy the park through a loan and run the park themselves, either through an outside agency affiliated with the fund or the residents doing it themselves.
Conroy said that the reason a lot of manufactured housing parks decide to go the co-op route is because of the instability of ownership in a park. While homeowners will own the homes, they do not own the land that the home sits upon.
"Some of these park owners will give them a certain number of days to find another place to go; it's pretty shocking," he said.
Another reason he cited for creating co-op parks was the lack of guarantee that the rent would stay the same for any number of years.
"They have no control over rent increases," he said.
Conroy said that, for the video, he went to two parks — one in Belmont and one in North Hampton — to talk with the residents about their experiences living in the parks since they went co-op. He also talked with the Loan Fund about the program.
"They're making a change for the better," he said. "We like to work with organizations that are doing good."
Coordinator for the program Paul Bradley said that they plan on having a viewing party for the video sometime in January so that the residents could see the video for themselves. Bradley said that the video will be distributed within New Hampshire as well as other states to show what is being done here.
"It's a very successful program," he said. "We have 72 communities, and it shows the success of the program."
Conroy said that, this year, they are offering an opportunity for other non-profit organizations to create videos to promote their work. According to the website, the contest is open to all non-profits in the area, and the winner will have the company do whatever needs to be done for free, whether it be making DVDs, commercials, or anything else they may need to promote their organization.
For more information on the contest, contact Conroy at 603-665-9191.
Lori Ann Chauvette can be reached at 524-3800 ext. 5932, or e-mail at email@example.com.
c. 2005 George J. Foster Co.