FARMINGTON — A public hearing is scheduled next week on a $250,000 grant to
rehabilitate the 20-year-old mobile homes in the housing community
known as 82 High Street.

Selectmen will take comments at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26, at the town office on the the town’s proposed role as administrator of the Community Development Block Grant, Code Enforcement Officer Steve Kaiser said.

The 82 High Street board of directors, led by Chairman Scott Planting, and Western Maine Community Action are working with the town to apply for money to repair the 18 Keiser Homes, a mobile home company formerly out of Oxford, he said. An assessment of the units has been done and has shown their structure is sound and they are repairable, Kaiser said. The grant would cover repair and upgrade roofs, doors, windows and heating systems.

“It would make them more energy efficient and up to code,” he said. “It is cost prohibitive to replace the mobile homes and keep it affordable housing but the in-depth assessment found them worth repairing.”

“It’s a good community of people who like living there and the management and a lot of people have put in a lot of work there,” Kaiser said.

The goal for the first half of this year is to make the mobile homes last another 20 years while conserving 35 percent of the utility costs. In the second half of the year, the board and WMCA want to find the best options for the apartments and common space at 82 High Street for the next 20 years.

  The town has acted as administrator of CDBG grants for other projects such as the Church Street and North Church projects, Kaiser said. There is no cost for the town other than the paperwork of serving as administrator, he said.

“It’s a good partnership for the town. The 82 High Street board of directors and WMCA have an incredible amount of experience,” he said.

Although there is competition from other towns for these funds, Kaiser was optimistic about the chances of securing them for 82 High Street. The careful rehabilitation would keep them in service and provide affordable housing for a longer time, a good project for these funds, he said.

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