This Isn’t A Cooperative, Is It?

2014-03-15 - Mfd Home Community Co-Op

Manufactured Home Co-Ops
Expand Ownership Interest

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DESPITE THOSE WHO STILL MAY SAY THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MANUFACTURED HOME COOPERATIVE, they really do exist … and we’ve been helping to create and operate them for more than 24 years. In fact, we worked on one of the very first such cooperatives in New York State.

Nonetheless, it still seems to surprise many since housing cooperatives (co-ops) are generally associated with  apartment buildings, especially in metropolitan areas. So when the word “co-op” is mentioned folks usually envision a massive structure reaching into the sky and encompassing numerous dwelling units. But that vision is only partly correct because the term “housing cooperative” does not describe a structure or building. Instead, it describes a form of ownership. Just as a person or company may own a property or operate a business, so too may a cooperative.

Consequently, there is a large variety of cooperative types beyond those for housing, such as farm, food, health care and credit union cooperatives. Simply stated, the cooperative entity is a state recognized formal organization wherein  members (shareholders) of the cooperative own a share of stock in the cooperative corporation, which share conveys to the shareholder certain rights. In the housing arena the co-op typically owns the dwelling structure and common areas and the shareholder has the right to use the designated dwelling space for which the shareholder pays a fee (occupancy charge) under an occupancy agreement (proprietary lease).

However, in the case of a New York manufactured home community the arrangement diverges from what might be seen as a “normal” cooperative scenario. Here the manufactured home (dwelling) is most often owned by the shareholder separate and apart from the co-op while the cooperative owns and operates the land, resulting in the shareholder getting an occupancy agreement from the cooperative for a portion of the land on which the shareholder’s manufactured home is installed. As with most other housing cooperatives, the shareholder pays an occupancy charge to the co-op.

This translates into a situation where: Each shareholder owns his/her manufactured home as well as being a part-owner (shareholder) of the cooperative corporation along with the other shareholders; the co-op owns/ operates the land; and through occupancy agreements with the co-op the shareholders are tenants of the cooperative.

In this way the manufactured home community cooperative broadens the ownership interest of shareholders in that they own their homes and share an ownership interest in the land. When that ownership interest is appropriately combined with regular training for board members/shareholders and proper operations, the manufactured home cooperative is a win for the residents and may provide a non-subsidized affordable housing resource for the town in which it is located.

For more information on New York manufactured home cooperatives, feel free to contact us at  and place the word “Co-ops” on the subject line.


Need coaching, training or problem troubleshooting regarding the foregoing or other housing issues? Visit us at the Inhouse Corporation website or contact us at


Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement this blog is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional and each action that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance and oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured or related matter please contact us at (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation.

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