Community Development Block Grant
Pawtucket, RI - Mayor James E. Doyle
Maple Meadows Mobile Home Park
In late 1997, the residents of Maple Meadows Mobile Home Park learned that the company which owned the 3.5-acre, 70-unit Park had put it up for sale. Concerned about the pending sale, the tenants partnered with the City of Pawtucket and other organizations and eventually were able to purchase the Park. Through this effort, the affordability of the housing was preserved and the existing tenants were given a chance to become property owners and property managers.
The City's Department of Planning and Redevelopment (DPR) played a key role, providing CDBG funds to help the tenants match an offer already made by a competing private interest. By opening the discussions and involving multiple players in the workout plans, the City and the Maple Meadows Tenants Association spearheaded a public-private initiative which involved a private partner (Citizens Bank), a non-profit partner (the Institute for Community Economics) and two quasi-public agencies (the Rhode Island Housing and Pawtucket Redevelopment Agencies).
Faced with the imminent purchase of the Park by an unknown entity, the Tenants Association exercised its option under a 10-year-old Rhode Island law which gave mobile home park tenants the right to match a buyer's offer - $1.3 million in this case. DPR quickly responded to the tenants' request for financial assistance by brokering a deal among the various partners. The City, through the Redevelopment Agency, used CDBG funds to provide the Tenants Association with a $236,770 loan (at one percent interest for the first 10 years) for the permanent financing of the acquisition of the property. The City also made available $13,000 in HOME funds to assist the tenants with the equity payment. Each tenant contributed $500 towards an equity fund which will reimburse the HOME loan.
Each Tenants Association member now owns a share of the Park, and the Association manages it. Ten months after the purchase, the Association was able to lower the rent paid by its members from $285 to $250 per month.
Contact: Barney S. Heath, Community Development Program Manager, (401) 724-5200
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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