Thursday, June 28, 2012

CDI Helps 2 Communities, 466 Families Go Co-op


For immediate release 
Carver, MA, June 25, 2012: The residents’ associations of 2 manufactured housing communities comprised of a combined total of 466 homes in Carver, Massachusetts have purchased their communities, securing for themselves enduring control of the land their homes occupy. Cranberry Village Residents Association and the Pine Tree Village Residents Association closed in a 2 party transaction Friday afternoon after working together for 5 months toward the purchase. Notably, the purchase was without an increase in rent to the residents. With the total transaction exceeding $23 million, it is the largest single transaction in homes and dollars closed within the ROC USA™ network.

Cranberry Village, a 55+ community, and Pine Tree Village, a family community, were developed and operated by the Piper family since the 1970’s. After the Pipers signed an agreement last December to sell the properties to a NYSE-listed Investment Trust, the communities’ residents banded together to purchase under a right of refusal law in Massachusetts. They quickly contacted the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI), which served as their technical assistant through the process of establishing right of first refusal, incorporation, negotiations, due diligence, financing and closing. CDI, a member of the ROC USA Network, will provide technical assistance for the life of their mortgage loan.

“This is a place where we help each other — it’s a close-knit neighborhood that got closer by forming the co-op and going through the purchase process,” said David Tessier, president of the Cranberry Residents Association. “Now most people are concentrating on the rent stabilizing. We were worried, because in today’s economy, some people are living on very slim fixed budgets and they can’t afford the rent going up every year.”

As quoted in the Patriot Ledger, Pine Tree board member Larry Erikson said: “It’s like a new democracy. The members decide, what do we want to do with surplus? We could reduce the rents or do tree work and fix potholes.”
ROC USA ( is a non-profit organization with a national network of eight organizations such as CDI and a national financing source for co-ops. The ROC USA process solves the two basic barriers to resident ownership – access to expert technical assistance and financing to help homeowners become buyers when their community is for sale. Financing for the project was provided by ROC USA® Capital, a 501c3 national community development financial institution that is certified by the Department of Treasury’s CDFI Fund.

With these communities CDI’s New England Resident Owned Communities initiative (NEROC) has assisted 7 conversions in 20 months in a territory that covers all the New England states except New Hampshire. CDI (, a 501c3 cooperative development center based in Shelburne Falls, MA is funded in part through a USDA Rural Development grant. 
For further information contact:
Andrew Danforth, Director, CDI NEROC 1-877-NE-COOPS
Mike Bullard, ROC USA Communications Manager 603-856-0763

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July 31: Nat'l Co-op Dev't Act webinar

Mark your calendars - Tuesday, July 31st, 3pm EST
The Campaign for Cooperation is hosting a webinar to discuss effective ways co-op supporters can engage with elected officials. We will specifically discuss the National Cooperative Development Act, update you on its progress, and help you plan an effective visit. All of these lessons are applicable to any advocacy effort you might be working on.  
You can register for the webinar here:

Keep spreading the word! 
Tell all of your fellow cooperators about this exciting bill, and encourage them to join the campaign at !

Congressman Fattah needs your help to pass this important legislation! 
He's working hard to build support for the bill, both in DC with his colleagues in Congress, but also by speaking directly with Cooperators like us! He recently spoke at 3 co-op conferences; in Boston at the National Worker Cooperative Conference, in Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance Conference, and the Consumer Cooperative Management Association.

"If you do the work (by advocating for this bill), you will be rewarded with even more work (developing lots of co-ops!)"   

Thank you for your continued support!
Peter Frank
Cooperation Works! - Advocacy Coordinator


Monday, June 4, 2012

This Friday: VT Employee Ownership Conference

Final Reminder for 10th Annual Vermont Employee Ownership Conference
Space is still available for the 2012 Vermont Employee Ownership Conference, to be held this Friday, June 8 at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont.  We'll be starting the day with welcoming remarks by Senator Bernie Sanders and the keynote address by Gar Alperovitz "Is There an America Beyond Capitalism?"  Gar will offer a diagnosis of the long-term structural crisis of the American economic and political system, along with a picture of practical bottom-up efforts currently underway in thousands of communities across the United States.  

This will be followed by four groups of workshops, nineteen in total, covering all aspects of employee ownership.
Please note that the conference registration fee includes full access to concurrent sessions throughout the day, and in addition we will be providing a continental breakfast, lunch, and an ice cream sundae reception at the end of the day.  
The full-day conference is designed for those who want to learn more about how employee ownership can work for their business as well as members of existing employee-owned companies.  Students are also encouraged to attend, and we offer a discounted registration fee for students.  Please contact us for more information.
Date: Friday, June 8th, 2012
Time: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM (Registration starts at 7:30 AM)
Location: Champlain College, 375 Maple St., Burlington, VT 
To Register: Click here to register online. 
For More Info: Call 802-321-8362, or email
We also hope you will join us for a pre-conference dinner on Thursday, June 7th at Magnolia Bistro in downtown Burlington. We'll start the evening at 6:00 pm with a cash bar and hors d'oeuvres, followed by dinner at 7:00 pm. The cost to attend the dinner is $35, and preregistration is required. 
For full conference details, click here. 

Congratulations, Steampunk Cafe, on opening!

The Steampunk Café ( is Connecticut's newest worker-owned cooperative business, serving fair trade Equal Exchange beverages and an American menu. The Café participated in a seven-month CT Cooperative Business Academy presented by the Cooperative Development Institute. Stop by their place in Danielson, CT and help make sure they thrive!