Upwardly mobile: Royal Crest residents ‘moving ahead’ after buying park

Mar 14, 2023

When residents of the Royal Crest mobile home park bought the park for $12 million in August 2022, they wanted to make sure that their homes would remain affordable. 

Speaking to the Select Board on Tuesday, March 14, Bob Costa and Al Latini of the Royal Crest Residents Association said that the collectively-owned park is taking steps to keep rents low. 

“Our residents are excited,” Costa said. “We’re moving ahead with the park. We’ve done some things that are beneficial to the park and to the community as well.”

Royal Crest has received a $1.9 million loan from the state, as well as a 30-year deed restriction, after several months of negotiations. The park plans to build new homes on 10 vacant lots. 

“We were the first project of this nature for the state to be involved,” Costa said.

The deed restriction prevents Royal Crest from increasing rent more than five percent per year. Whenever a Royal Crest resident wishes to sell their home, the homeowner would have to make an offer to low or moderate-income buyers first. 

“This park is now designated by a state as a low to moderate-income community,” Latini said.

It is the first of its kind in the state. 

At the time of the purchase, 90% of Royal Crest residents lived at or below 80% of the area’s median income. The purchase stopped Legacy Communities, an Arizona-based mobile home company, from buying the park. Residents feared that Legacy Communities would make the rent too high.