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Harbor Village RV Mobile Home Park transfering into the hands of those who live there….

923 SE Bay Blvd, #20 • Newport, OR 97365
541-265-5088 • admin@harborvillagervpark.com

Harbor Village Cooperative receives $8 million from Oregon Housing Stability Council to stabilize space rents

The Housing Stability Council of the state of Oregon’s Housing and Community Services approved $8.04 million of funding to the Harbor Village RV and Mobile Home Park for infrastructure repair and other costs at its August 5, 2022 meeting. The Harbor Village RV and Mobile Home Park consists of 201 mobile home and RV spaces located at 923 SE Bay Blvd in Newport with an estimate of over 300 residents, the largest cooperatively owned mobile home park in Oregon and Washington. The cooperative also received a $2 million Congressionally designated grant in April 2022.

“Due to the active efforts of the state of Oregon and CASA of Oregon to obtain grant funding, our Harbor Village Cooperative will be able to stabilize rents for our cooperative members,” said Brian Wamsley, president of the Harbor Village Cooperative. “We will be using the funds to help pay down the loan and for infrastructure improvements.”

“I congratulate the Harbor Village homeowners group in their successful effort to convert their park to an owner-owned cooperative. The potential loss of more than 200 affordable homes would have been catastrophic for Newport. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to support their hard work in accomplishing this,” said Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall. Commissioner Hall is the chair of the Housing Stability Council.

“Affordable housing is one of our most critical needs. That means building new homes. But it also means preserving the homes we have. That’s why it was so important to help Harbor Village residents acquire their park when it was about to be sold,” stated State Representative David Gomberg. “I was pleased to support a new law giving residents purchase preference, and I was happy to help these residents to do so.”

“The City Council and I have been supportive of the Harbor Village RV Park plan to have the renters purchase the park. We have been excited for the program and the hard work the renters have put into this project. This is the last affordable RV park in town and it sits on very desirable bay front property. I’m sure that if a private developer would have purchased the property the renters would have been moved off and homes, condos, or a destination resort would have replaced the park,” noted city of Newport mayor Dean Sawyer. “There is no other place in our community for these people to go as housing is at a premium. We are so excited that the cooperative owners now control their own destiny and that housing there will be affordable for several people that cannot afford traditional housing. ”  

“We congratulate the Harbor Village residents on this momentous occasion, and are proud to have been a part of this huge win,” said Rose Ojeda, the Director of Manufactured Housing and Cooperative Development for CASA of Oregon. “Everyone has the right to quality, affordable housing, and preserving this park was imperative in a state where housing costs remain high. We look forward to working closely with the residents and providing the support they need as they continue to make improvements and manage their land.”

The previous owner of the Harbor Village Park announced to the residents in December 2020 that the park was being put up for sale. In Oregon, mobile home residents have the right of first refusal to purchase the park. A core group of residents began organizing via Zoom during the pandemic on a weekly basis to perform the necessary due diligence to determine if purchase of the park was feasible. During the months of February through May 2020, upwards of sixty Harbor Village Park residents and representatives from CASA of Oregon met on a weekly basis to discuss the pros and cons of purchasing the park. An appraisal was completed on the park.

In April 2021, the owner accepted the residents’ offer of the appraised property value of $9.7 million. The cooperative members voted on May 4, 2021 to approve the purchase of the park, approval of the non-profit status, and approval of the budget. Initial loan funding to purchase the park was provided by the Network for Oregon Affordable Housing and CASA of Oregon.

The interim Board of Directors approved the hiring of Commonwealth Real Estates Services (CWRES), at its May 17, 2021 meeting to manage the large park. CWRES (www.cwres.com), founded in 1984, is the leading property management company in Oregon and Washington for manufactured housing communities.

The Harbor Village Cooperative (www.harborvillagecoop.com) took formal ownership and control of the park on May 27, 2021.
The interim Board announced an election for the permanent Board of Directors on September 15, 2021. The election was held in early November, 2021.

The following individuals were elected to the permanent Board: Brian Wamsley (president), Pat Schaffner (vice president), Sharon Beck (treasurer), Rachell Freshour (at large), Blanca Smith (at large), and Jim Watson (at large).

The Board and its cooperative members have been quite busy improving the park. A tree company was hired to trim the numerous Douglas-fir trees and other trees which represent a threat during windy and rainy conditions. Electric contractors were hired to improve the electrical connections on the RV side including upgrades from 20 amp to 50 amp connections. A new outdoor mailbox center on the RV side was installed which greatly reduced the amount of traffic going into the office. A contractor was hired to scope the sewer lines. Several sewer problems were identified which will be corrected using, in part, the Congressional designated $2 million CDS grant.

Other projects currently underway include security improvements with the installation of cameras throughout the park and the hiring of a security company to patrol the park four times a day.

The Board meets twice per month and its meetings are open to the coop members. The next big step for the cooperative and CASA is transitioning from a bridge loan to a permanent loan. The permanent loan would reduce the interest rate to 2.5% and would be financed by the Network for Oregon Affordable Housing and CASA. The permanent loan is expected to be put in place by the end of the year. To date, the cooperative is generating more income than expenses and is in solid financial condition.

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