MARLBOROUGH- When faced with hardships, the residents of Jo-Len Village never backed down.Their story started in November of 2018 when all 123 units received the same letter. The bad news, the Jo-Len complex was up for sale. The potential buyer had a bad history of going into similar complexes and raising rents well above what the law allowed. But the good news, there was another option. If more than 51 percent of residents wanted to, they could buy it out. With more than 90 percent of residents voting yes to buy, that is exactly what they did.
One year and 15 million dollars later, the park was theirs. The fate of Jo-Len Village, forever in the hands of those who lived there. But their journey to success was not achieved alone. Residents formed a board of directors, which orchestrated the purchase. The board members met with other resident-owned parks, banks and even attended training seminars to better learn how the process works.
It has been seven weeks since residents officially purchased their village. Village rent increased, but once a member, residents owned a small part of stock in Jo-Len Residents Association, Inc. Board of directors president, Jim Brown, said the goal is to save the village, not to raise rents.
On Jan. 29, Brown spoke to residents in a 'State of the Village Address', reminding them of their success. Behind him, hung a sign with the words 'We did it, now we must do it". The hardest part was over, but everyone in the village must continue to work together.