Manufactured Housing Case Studies

Issues Addressed:
Housing Costs Housing Options

Mascoma Valley Cooperative, Canaan, NH

The Mascoma Valley Cooperative is a small resident-owned community with 29 manufactured housing units. Residents purchased the land and infrastructure supporting their homes and formed a non-profit ROC in 2017. The Cooperative’s small web site is brimming with that pride in its brief description of the community:  “Mascoma Valley Cooperative is a resident-owned manufactured home community in Canaan, N.H. …Mascoma Valley Cooperative, Inc. is owned by the community members who live here – we are a resident-owned community (ROC). That means we control the rent and make the rules. On June 28, 2017, the ROC purchased the land and infrastructure, such as the roads and water lines. Now, a democratically elected Board of Directors manages the business of running Mascoma Valley. Every Member household in the community has a say in who sits on the Board, how we spend our money, the annual budget, and whether we make changes to the rent.”

Allenstown, Keene, and North Conway, NH

On July 19, 2019 the owners in three communities across the state—Bear View Crossing in Allenstown, Black Bear Village in North Conway, and Tanglewood Estates in Keene, all purchased the land and infrastructure supporting their communities from individual private owners and formed nonprofit cooperatives.  This $48 million investment was funded through the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. Since this change, board members have acted in the public interest to have vacant pads developed and make improvements to the community. National Association of Housing Cooperatives, “Trio of Community Purchases Preserves Nearly 900 Affordable Homes in New Hampshire,”
North Conway’s Black Bear Village resident-owned community (ROC) on a snowy day.

Sandcastle Estates, Sunset Acres, and Brookside, Southeast MA

Sandcastle Estates is a 55+ active adult community and manufactured housing park in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, a town on the Rhode Island border with a historic downtown and vast rural and suburban areas. Sandcastle Estates hosts 172 manufactured homes made semi-permanent through porches, screening, landscaping, and more. The community has sidewalks, a resident clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts, and a fire pit. In 2019, Legacy Communities purchased the property for more than $13 million, more than four times its assessment at the time. Leases increased 12% the following year. Two and a half years after the purchase, another investment firm offered nearly $19 million for the park. In response, state legislators introduced a bill to provide rent stabilization in the town, though that legislation has not proceeded. Instead, Sandcastle Estates residents voted to purchase the park themselves, matching the offer at around $19 million. The resident-purchase would still result in substantial rent increases to cover the mortgage, but it would remove the property from further speculation. Shortly after buying Sandcastle Estates in 2019, Legacy Communities offered to purchase Sunset Acres and Brookside, two manufactured housing parks in Plainville, Massachusetts, a town adjacent to North Attleborough. Sunset Acres and Brookside Village are both 55+ communities of semi-permanent manufactured homes. Sunset acres hosts 225 manufactured homes and Brookside Village hosts 69. Having seen the impact on Sandcastle Estates, the residents of both communities voted to purchase their parks. To make this happen, residents worked with nonprofits and Community Development Financial Institutions to aid the process of becoming a cooperative and financing the purchases.
  • Foxboro Sun-Chronicle, “Residents of Sandcastle Estates in Attleboro dreading pending sale” (July 19, 2021).
  • Foxboro Sun-Chronicle, “Plainville mobile home parks now owned by tenants” (July 16, 2020).
  • Planet Money, “Mobile Home Parked,” 
ROC USA Capital, “Brookside Residents Association Featured In NPR Planet Money Episode,”
Sandcastle Estates, a retirement community in North Attleborough, MA with manufactured homes and community amenities (including a clubhouse and pool).

Allenstown, NH

In 2015, Allenstown passed Chapter 18 of its Zoning Ordinance, which governs pre-site-built housing and manufactured housing, as well as manufactured housing parks. The zoning explicitly allows manufactured homes on any lot that allows single-family homes. Manufactured home parks (where the homes are not on permanent foundations) are governed by specific provisions in this chapter, whereas pre-site-built homes clustered on permanent foundations are governed by the Town’s cluster housing provisions. Manufactured home parks can be built by Conditional Use Permit with the Manufactured Home Park Overlay District within the Open Space and Farming Zone. Parks can have one manufactured home for every two acres, and parks must be at least 15 acres in size with at least 20% of the park preserved as open space. Individual home lots have specific dimensional rules, as well.

Wolfeboro, NH

Wolfeboro’s zoning code includes a Manufactured Housing Overlay District specifically intended for compliance with the State’s mandate that communities allow reasonable opportunities for manufactured housing (RSA 674:31-32). Initially adopted in 1988, the law has been amended as the needs and desires of the communities have changed. Currently, the overlay district allows manufactured housing in subdivisions, in which both the structures and individual lots are owned by homeowners. Manufactured housing subdivisions are allowed in most of the southwestern portion of the town. Density, dimensional, site design, permitting, and other zoning requirements are the same for manufactured housing subdivisions as they are for site-built single-family housing. The overlay district previously allowed “manufactured housing parks,” which were specified as any tract of land of a given size that allowed parking spaces for manufactured homes, without a requirement that the homeowner owned their individual lot. That provision has been repealed, however, leaving only the provision for manufactured housing subdivisions.

Volusia County, FL

Volusia County is a moderately developed county in east-central Florida. Its most notable city is Daytona Beach, but it contains numerous small cities and towns and large unincorporated areas. In 2023, citing a lack of affordable housing options, the county council proposed to expand by-right permitting for manufactured housing parks in rural zoning districts. Presently, manufactured housing parks are allowed by special permit in a subset of rural zones.