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ROC USA Leader Reflects on a New Model of Living Together (+video)

Colleen Preston tells her story

She used to work for a newspaper and for many years owned a bookstore. Now Colleen Preston, proud member of a resident-owned community in Carver, Mass., is 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.

Colleen and her fellow board members Liz Wood 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 clips above to learn about Colleen’s story; you can also watch videos about Liz’s and Natividad’s experiences in this exciting new role. Each has a unique story to tell.

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Housing Solutions Center

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.