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Helping Resident Owners Learn That They Count (+video)

Natividad Seefeld tells about the neighborly spirit in a resident-owned community

Natividad Seefeld has lived for 17 years in Park Plaza Cooperative, a resident-owned manufactured-home community in Fridley, Minnesota. She’s learned a lot in that time, and now she wants to share that knowledge with others in the resident-owned community movement.

She will have lots of opportunities to do so as she serves on the national board of directors of ROC USA, the nonprofit that supports the growing trend of residents buying the “mobile home” parks where they live. “I want to help us all learn to teach residents that they count and that they are the greatest asset a community can have.”

ROC USA is one of three national organizations that AARP Foundation is supporting through $2.5 million in program-related investments aimed at creating new models of housing to address the needs of older adults facing the challenges of inadequate, unsafe or unaffordable housing. ROC USA helps resident-owned corporations buy their manufactured-home communities, or “mobile home parks,” from private community owners. AARP Foundation’s investment is being used to support the financing that allows owners of manufactured homes, a vulnerable and aging group, to cooperatively purchase the land on which their homes are located.

Related: Help your town become an age-friendly liveable community

Natividad and her fellow board members Colleen Preston and Liz Wood are the first resident-owners to be elected to the national ROC USA board, and they’re all proud of the fact that they were elected by their peers. AARP Foundation recently interviewed all three about their experiences. The video clips above Natividad’s story; you can also watch videos about Colleen’s and Liz’s experiences in this exciting new role. Each has a unique story to tell.

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This program offers free HUD-certified counseling and assistance to 50-plus homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure. Go

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Older People And

Whether people 50+ own or rent, the repercussions from the recession are severe - abandoned neighborhoods, rent increases and a decrease in affordable, subsidized housing. Millions of homeowners can neither sell their homes nor receive approval to refinance their mortgages at today’s much lower interest rates. 



  • 19 million adults 50+ live in unaffordable or unsafe housing
  • Nearly 25% of household mortgages are underwater - meaning the mortgage is larger than the current value of the house.
  • Foreclosures have been at record levels.