Client: Mountainside Community Cooperative
Client Location: Camden, ME
CDFI: Genesis Community Loan Fund
CDFI Service Area: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont
In manufactured housing communities, residents often own their homes but not the land beneath them. Big private investors often purchase the communities and either dramatically increase rents or evict residents to redevelop the land. Fortunately, the owner of Mountainside park in Camden, ME, decided not to sell the property to an outside investor last summer, instead choosing to work with Genesis Community Loan Fund.
A $709,501 loan from Genesis Community Loan Fund, along with financing from Camden National Bank and fellow CDFI Local Enterprise Assistance Fund (LEAF), allowed residents to meet the total $2.2 million project cost and officially purchase their newly named Mountainside Community Cooperative in December 2019.
Securing affordable housing can be challenging in a place like Camden, where average home prices run between $300,000-$400,000, and estimated median household income is slightly over $50,000. However, because rents in resident-owned communities are proven to remain stable, now Mountainside residents—many who are retired, fixed-income, and low-income Mainers—know they’ll never be forced out because of redevelopment, evictions, or rent spikes.
“Now that we have a co-op, people know each other and communicate with one another. It’s a much better atmosphere. People are always reaching out to each other to see if they can help one another. It’s been very beneficial,” says Paul, a Mountainside Community Cooperative resident.