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2000 Best Practice Awards

Best of the Best Winner: Nevada

Best Practice: Lockwood Resident Empowerment and Housing Preservation Project

Residents Organize to Purchase Ownership of Property, Maintain Affordable Housing

Lockwood, Nevada.
When residents of the Lockwood Mobile Home Park found that the IRS had seized their park from the previous management corporation, they feared rising costs, displacement, and for some, possible homelessness. The majority of the residents of the 106 units are senior citizens, disabled, or female-headed low-to-middle income families whose stability has been made possible by the park’s affordable space rents. If forced to move elsewhere, many of the residents would face prohibitive housing costs, and many would lose equity in their homes because of an inability to move the older units into a newer park. Concerned for their homes, residents contacted HUD for assistance in preserving their affordable housing.

The residents began meeting with the local HUD Community Builder and several nonprofits including Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Washoe Senior Law Project, and The Affordable Housing Resource Council to develop an action plan to maintain their homes. Fearing what an outside owner might do with the property, the Lockwood residents decided to take matters into their own hands. With technical assistance for infrastructure planning, organizational development training, and pro bono legal assistance from the non-profits, the residents formed the Lockwood Community Corporation (LCC), an incorporated Nevada nonprofit organization. The LCC Board of Directors, with the assistance of HUD, is seeking to acquire Lockwood Mobile Home Park from the government for a negotiated price. LCC will purchase the property and operate it as a co-op in order to maintain affordable space costs and provide for resident control over management of the park.

Under the plan to purchase the property from the IRS the mobile homes will continue to be owned by individual households; the land, the infrastructure, the apartment units, and the manager’s unit will all be owned by the cooperative. Residents will pay a monthly fee for the operating expenses of the park and to service the debt for acquisition and improvements to the property. The park will reserve 40 percent of its housing for households with incomes less than 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). Thirty-one additional units will be reserved for residents with incomes less than 80 percent of AMI. The remaining units will not be income-restricted to avoid displacing current higher-income residents and to provide residents with a measure of flexibility in selling their homes.

Financing for the acquisition and improvements to the park includes a combination of conventional financing, a low interest loan through the HOME Investment Partnership Program, CDBG grants, low-interest loans and grants from Storey County, and resident equity.

The successful efforts of the Lockwood Community Corporation and the residents of the Lockwood Mobile Home Park demonstrate that empowerment of residents through technical assistance and support provided by committed and competent non-profits can overcome formidable obstacles to preserving and improving affordable housing. This project will preserve a substantial number (73) of affordable housing units for a period of at least 51 years.

Contact: Eileen Piekarz, Phone: (775) 324-1870
Tracking Number: 524
Winning Category: Geographic

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Content Archived: April 20, 2011

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