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Resident Ownership: Getting a Voice, Gaining Respect (+video)

Liz Wood talks about the benefits of a resident-owned community

In her own words, Liz Wood “was born with an internal drive to get to know people and enjoy them.” She has used that affinity to become a leader in her community, a resident-owned manufactured-home park in Duvall, Washington. Now she has moved up to serve 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.

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: Learn how AARP Foundation is working to improve access to safe and affordable housing

Liz and her fellow board members Colleen Preston and Natividad Seefeld 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. Watch the video above to hear Liz talk about how resident ownership has given her community a voice and gained them respect; you can also watch videos about Colleen’s and Natividad’s experiences in this exciting new role. Each has a unique story to tell.

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