CASA of Oregon Expands Assistance for Resident-owned Manufactured Housing Cooperatives with USDA Grant

PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 7, 2020 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is awarding a $200,000 technical assistance grant to Community And Shelter Assistance Corporation (CASA of Oregon) to support 12 resident-owned manufactured housing cooperatives in rural areas of western and central Oregon, announced State Director John Huffman today.

“Manufactured housing cooperatives give residents a voice in decisions affecting their communities,” said Huffman. “As we celebrate National Cooperative Month this October, I am pleased to announce USDA funding to support cooperatives that maintain much-needed affordable housing in rural Oregon.”

CASA of Oregon will use this grant to help residents purchase two manufactured housing parks and manage them using a cooperative model. The nonprofit will also provide technical assistance to housing cooperatives in Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Lane, Morrow, and Yamhill counties, which CASA of Oregon previously helped to establish. The cooperatives will receive technical assistance for the life of their manufactured housing park purchase loans, a minimum of 15 years.

By owning and managing their manufactured housing communities as nonprofit cooperatives, residents will be empowered to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of site management; address facility upgrade needs; preserve and enhance access to safe, affordable housing; and help to improve overall economic conditions in the area.

In addition, this grant will enable CASA of Oregon to organize the Pacific Northwest Leadership Conference, in partnership with other organizations in the region, to train cooperative leaders.

This USDA grant will leverage $73,000 in funding from CASA of Oregon. It was preceded by $868,230 in USDA funding to CASA of Oregon since 2013 to support manufactured housing cooperatives. The funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement.

The funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) Program, which helps nonprofits and institutions of higher education provide assistance to individuals and businesses with starting, expanding, or improving rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing, community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care facilities; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. Learn more at www.rd.usda.gov/or.