Mobile Home De-Construction Project helps 68 homeowners
Dec. 29, 2011 -- The post-Irene mobile home de-construction team assembled by Lt. Governor Phil Scott and Secretary of Commerce and Community Development Lawrence Miller reported today that they removed 68 homes in six parks around the state, completing the first phase of their work in early December.
Scott and Miller launched the project in late September after hearing that many Vermonters whose mobile homes were destroyed in the flood were facing disposal costs of $3,500 to $4,500. A total of 385 mobile homes throughout the state received some level of FEMA assistance, and 141 of these were deemed “substantially damaged” and beyond repair. However, the average FEMA award to mobile home owners – which was to cover repair or replacement of the home itself as well as damaged contents and temporary housing costs -- was only $4,500.
Scott initially worked with the Associated General Contractors of VT to set up a coordinated mobile home removal effort that reduced the per-home cost to $1,500. Secretary Miller then reached out to the Vermont Community Foundation and the Vermont Long Term Disaster Recovery Group, who collectively raised more than $300,000 to enable the team to offer the de-construction and disposal service free of charge to any mobile home owner living in a park.
Demolition started on October 31, and all of the work was completed within six weeks. This played a key role in rehabilitating flooded mobile home parks in central and southern Vermont.
“Thanks to the team we put together, we finished before the worst part of winter set in, which will allow homeowners and park owners to move forward and rebuild,” said Secretary Miller.
Scott noted that one park remains on the project list: River Run Park in Berlin, which was flooded in May, and where a handful of homeowners were unable to pay for the removal of their destroyed homes. River Run, he said, serves as an example of what might have happened after Irene.
“Five abandoned trailers still sit there today, and they’re holding up the rebuilding process at that park. We could have easily seen that happen on a much larger scale after Irene, had we not been able to remove those trailers quickly.” Scott added that the team has set aside funding to remove those five homes at River Run as soon as the park owner and the town have completed the abandonment process.
Facts: Post-Irene Mobile Home De-Construction Project
385 mobile homes in Vermont received some level of FEMA assistance / 141 “substantially damaged”
Average mobile home repair cost: $9,854 / Average mobile home FEMA award: $4,518
The Team: Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, Secretary of Commerce and Community Development Lawrence Miller, Associated General Contractors-VT, Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity’s Mobile Home Project, Vermont Community Foundation, Vermont Long Term Disaster Recovery Group, UVM, Downs Rachlin Martin
Removed 68 mobile homes from 6 mobile home parks, October 31-December 8
Weston’s (Berlin) October 31-November 14 32 homes
Patterson’s (Duxbury) November 15-17 11 homes
Whalley’s (Waterbury) November 21-22 10 homes
Riverside (Woodstock) November 29-30 5 homes
Greene (Sharon) December 5 2 homes
Glen Park (Brattleboro) December 7-8 8 homes
Crew consisted of an excavator, a 4-yard loader, and 2 ground laborers to rake up
Average time per mobile home: 2 hours
Total of 946 tons of waste, 105 tons of salvageable metal removed
Not a state program; with the exception of administrative costs (state employee time and CVOEO employee time), all funding came from private donations (total of $300,000 came from more than 2 dozen donors).
Notable donors: Aubuchon Hardware ($25,000), Bond Auto ($50,000), Argosy Foundation ($60,000)
The project also received $50,000 from the Phish concert (the first grant made from that event).
Per-home demolition and disposal cost was estimated at $1,500; actual cost averaged $2,500
(Added weight from wet insulation, wet materials, household contents)