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Shelburne Mobile Home Park Now Owned By Residents

Shelburnewood_closing_ROCusa093015.jpg
Mike Bullard
/
ROC USA
Tony Pomerleau signs papers selling Shelburnewood Mobile Home Park to its cooperative of residents. The mirror reflects residents and attorneys looking on.

Homeowners at Shelburnewood Mobile Home Park are now also landowners. Residents of the 28-parcel park in Shelburne collectively bought the property on Wednesday.

Residents formed a cooperative and purchased the park from Burlington developer Tony Pomerleau, who bought the property with the intention of selling it to the residents.

Two organizations, Resident Owned Communities USA (ROC USA) and the Cooperative Development Institute, helped the residents form the cooperative and purchase the property. A ROC USA press release states:

For 10 years, Shelburnewood residents have lived in a state of uncertainty about the future of their neighborhood and their homes. In early 2005, residents received notice that the mobile home park was going to be shut down and sold to a developer and that homeowners would be forced to move their homes elsewhere. Ever since, residents have had to organize, first to stop the park closure, and then to find a way to purchase the community and preserve it as affordable housing.

Pomerleau stepped in and purchased the property in 2012.

“The nightmare of worrying about a closure ended when Mr. Pomerleau stepped forward to purchase the land on which our homes reside,” commented co-op Vice President Vicki Carleton. “Mr. Pomerleau let us know right up front that he had no intentions of being a landlord. He got involved to replace the infrastructure throughout the park knowing it was old and beginning to fail and he encouraged and empowered us to form a cooperative.”

Pomerleau said the property's downtown Shelburne location is an important asset to many park residents.

“They can walk to church, the supermarket, a restaurant and more,” Pomerleau said. “It’s a great location, right downtown, and that’s very valuable to the people who live there.”

According to the press release, Shelburnewood residents worked with the Cooperative Development Institute to establish their co-op and negotiate a deal with Pomerleau, which culminated in residents purchasing the property on Wednesday for $950,000.

ROC USA says Shelburnewood is now the fifth Vermont resident-owned community in its network, and one of 173 such communities nationwide.

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