SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Residents of the Patrician mobile home park are working with several partners to save the neighborhood.
In 2019, the property was rezoned by the ownership group to become a mixed-use property as opposed to the original low-density residential designation. This means for over a year, residents had to deal with the reality that their neighborhood could be sold to the highest bidder.
In a press release, the property owner announced he would give the residents a chance to place a bid on the neighborhood, turning it into a resident-owned community, meaning the residents would govern themselves. The proposed name of the collective of residents is Filbert Grove Cooperative.
The residents are working hard to raise the money.
"I'm feeling very optimistic. And when we got that letter, I was jumping up and down that we got the opportunity to purchase the park," said Jo Manning, the chair of the Interim Board of Directors.
She also mentioned the huge roles Lane County commissioner Joe Berney, Homes for Good housing agency, and the Community and Shelter Assistance Corporation have played in the process.
Up to this point, the groups involved have raised roughly $11.6 million of the $12 million necessary to purchase the park. Berney said all of the parties involved have less than 90 days to raise the remainder of the funds and secure the deal.
He said his decision to get involved with this project, independent of the board, was a no-brainer.
"Affordable housing is a priority and a crisis in every community in this county. These people would have nowhere to go if they were taken from their homes," Berney said. "So it's incumbent upon all of us to assist those in most need."
As a result, he will remain hands-on throughout the remainder of the process.
Tonight, the interim board members will meet to discuss how they plan to move forward and galvanize the community to raise the funds.