There is no denying that the construction sector, including the manufactured home industry so critical to the regional economy, has been ravaged by the current recession. Hundreds of local tradespeople have lost their jobs as development projects statewide have ground to a halt. In Oxford County, more than 1,000 jobs have been lost in the modular building and construction industries alone.
That’s why the economic development arm for Oxford County, Western Maine Economic Development Council at Community Concepts Inc., is so grateful to members of the Legislature, and particularly proud of the newly formed bi-partisan Oxford County Legislative Caucus, for its recent approval of a green affordable housing bond initiative.
The Oxford Legislative Caucus worked tirelessly to move this bill forward. Bond proceeds would be used to put the construction industry back to work, building housing that is both affordable to Mainers of modest incomes and at least 30 percent more energy efficient than standard construction. One element of the initiative calls for the replacement of unsafe, inefficient mobile homes built before 1976 with energy-efficient alternatives — a potential boon for our local modular building industry.
LD1485 passed with the support of leaders from both sides of the aisle, working together to create efficient, affordable housing and economic opportunity.  I offer thanks to the Oxford County Legislative Caucus and our larger legislative members for listening and acting on behalf of our businesses and employees.
Linda Walbridge, South Paris, director
Western Maine Economic Development Council At Community Concepts Inc.

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