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Windy Hollow co-op purchases mobile home community with help from VHFA

By: Mia Watson on 3/2/2018

Residents of Windy Hollow Cooperative in Castleton are celebrating the successful purchase of their mobile home park, which was assisted by Vermont Housing Finance Agency. The creation of the housing co-op will help retain affordable homes for 44 households.

The cooperative was formed after the previous owner, HGWH Inc., issued a notice of its intent to sell the park in 2015. Under Vermont law, residents of mobile home communities in Vermont have the option to purchase properties before they are offered to the public. If the park had been sold to another owner, residents could have been subject to increases in rent or possibly displaced. The residents opted to form a cooperative to pursue the sale. Over the next three years, the park went through a lengthy process of inspections and reviews to allow the sale to go through.

The park was finally purchased for $1.04 million on February 15th. Vermont Housing Finance Agency was the primary mortgage lender, providing a direct loan of $954,000. The project also received support from a variety of other partners, including the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, the Cooperative Fund of New England, Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, and the Cooperative Development Institute of Massachusetts.

“We were pleased to be able to assist with this purchase,” remarked VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. “VHFA recognizes the importance of sustainable solutions to preserve affordable housing”.

By forming a cooperative, residents of Windy Hollow will have control of bylaws and budget, and are in the process of upgrading and maintaining the park’s water system and other infrastructure. Demand for the lots has been high. According to the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, all 44 lots are currently occupied.