Efforts Underway To Make Mobile Homes More Resilient, Efficient And Affordable
In last spring’s flooding, and then again during Tropical Storm Irene, mobile homeowners were hit particularly hard. Irene destroyed more than 100 mobile homes, and damaged hundreds; and many of those families are still in limbo, having lost everything. One of the big issues getting more attention in the months since, is how hard it is for people to get affordable loans for mobile homes. There are now efforts underway to come up with a better financing model for mobile home owners. Additionally, groups are looking at ways to create more cooperatively-owned mobile home parks in the state, and there is movement toward designing and building a mobile or modular home that is energy-efficient and still affordable.
We talk to Shaun Gilpin, program director of the Mobile Home Project at the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, JoEllen Calderara, who’s on the board of the Long Term Disaster Recovery Group, Matt Lutz, an assistant professor of architecture at Norwich University, and Emily Higgins, director of home ownership at the Champlain Housing Trust, about finding ways to make mobile homes more resilient, and give their owners more options and control over their living situations.