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 parks
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 managers
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