To mark their 35th anniversary New Hampshire Community Loan Fund hosted a warm celebration in Concord, New Hampshire on November 8. 245 attendees enjoyed a lively social hour before settling into their seats for a program built around the theme The Power of You. The evening’s speakers highlighted the lasting impact of Community Loan Fund’s financing and technical expertise and how this work has been powered by donors, investors, and partners over more than three decades.
In the first part of the program Community Loan Fund's Vice President for Economic Opportunity, John Hamilton, introduced several donors and investors, each of whom invited a borrower to speak—borrowers included Seacrest Cooperative, Xact Tech, and Holy Cross Learning Center. Each borrower story highlighted a different facet of Community Loan Fund's work, from the importance to having access to technical assistance to navigate a complex and fast-moving set of circumstances to how a $400,000 loan enabled an entrepreneur to finally realize his dream of creating manufacturing jobs in the local economy and how he is committed to helping his employees plan for their own financial futures.
During the second part of the evening's presentation Community Loan Fund President Juliana Eades said, “I feel very thankful to work some place where the impact we help make happen lasts and lasts."
Eades reflected on decades of work with residents of manufactured-home parks to help them buy and manage the parks as resident-owned communities (ROCs) saying, “there are 127 ROCs without a failure – over 7,200 homeowners will never again worry about losing their homes because their park gets sold. Security means everything for real homeownership, affordability and stable lives.”
“We’ve helped others earn their long-term security, too – farmers on their land, child care providers coming out of church basements into buildings of their own, and thousands of jobs.”
“On the other side of the equation, since we’ve created a new way to invest locally, we are proud to have built your trust by meeting all our obligations on the 2,000 investments that we have received. Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results!”
Eades then invited three organizations Community Loan Fund has incubated and launched to describe their genesis and current focus saying, “Sometimes we have gotten involved in helping a specific community solve a problem and we think the long-term effort would best be continued by a separate organization, so the impact can expand and ripple out while we stick to our strengths as a lender, partner and instigator.”
Rosemary Heard of CATCH Neighborhood Housing, Maureen Beauregard of Families in Transition, and Paul Bradley of ROC USA ® each delivered a brief synopsis of how they got started and what they are doing now to transform communities and lives in The Granite State, and beyond. With a vision to make resident ownership viable nationwide, ROC USA ® was founded in 2008 and is making significant strides to expand economic opportunities for homeowners in manufactured-home communities across the country.
Community Loan Fund and ROC USA ® Capital are both members of OFN.
As the evening concluded, Eades urged attendees to continue investing, donating, and partnering with Community Loan Fund and invited them to pick up the organization’s 2018 annual report.
Photo (L-R): Paul Bradley, ROC USA; Juliana Eades, Community Loan Fund; Lina Page, OFN