FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2024
MHIR PROGRAM BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO MANUFACTURED HOME COMMUNITIES SUPPORTING MORE THAN 200 RESIDENTS
Montpelier, Vt. —The Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) proudly reflects on a year of significant accomplishments, including the launch of the Manufactured Home Improvement and Repair Program (MHIR) in February. The program, initially funded by $4 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), received an additional $4 million through legislation passed in June. The combined $8 million offers financial assistance to manufactured home communities (commonly known as mobile home parks) for park improvements, home repair, and foundation installation.
“At a time when the state is facing a housing and homelessness crisis, this program is increasing the housing stock in Vermont, and preventing existing homes from deteriorating,” says DHCD Commissioner Alex Farrell.
A collaboration between the DHCD, Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA), and the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO), the MHIR program has allocated $2.4 million in approved awards thus far, serving over 200 mobile home projects in more than 70 of Vermont’s manufactured home communities since its February launch. Projects have been supported in all 14 counties. The average award among them has been $8,600 which is far less than the around $130,000 it would take to bring a new mobile home unit online.
The MHIR program was put to the test in the aftermath of the July storms that caused massive flooding throughout Vermont. For Jerry Sheehan, owner of Black River Mobile Court in Ludlow, the damage to his park in July was reminiscent of his experience after Tropical Storm Irene. The damage then required extensive and costly repairs, including the reconstruction of infrastructure and roads within the mobile home community, which Sheehan paid for out of pocket. Faced with similar devastation a second time around, Sheehan feared a repeat of the challenges he experienced with Irene.
Upon discovering and applying for the MHIR program, Sheehan was relieved to learn that his park qualified for the program. Thanks to the support provided by the MHIR program, the impact of the July floods was greatly reduced.
“It wasn’t just about the financial assistance; the support I received from the program and all three agencies allowed for a much faster recovery for the park and, most importantly, for its residents,” said Sheehan.
To learn more about the MHIR program, including eligibility information, deadlines, and application materials, visit mhirprogram.vsha.org.