82 High Street celebrates completion of rehabilitation project
FARMINGTON - An ambitious project at the 82 High Street housing development was completed on Sawtelle Lane recently, with 20-year-old mobile homes renovated to make them safe, comfortable and weather efficient.
A longstanding, low to moderate income housing development located off High Street, 82 High Street has been operated by a nonprofit corporation and its board if directors since 1987, when it was purchased from private ownership. Local ministries, Western Maine Community Action and Maine Housing Authority came together to assemble the funding necessary to purchase the development and move in new mobile homes and upgrade three apartment buildings. Over the past couple years, that process has repeated itself as a combination of grant funding, local agencies and volunteers has come together to renovate aging the development's mobile homes.
In 2010, the development was awarded funding through the Community Development Block Grant program, eventually totaling $268,000 in funds, for the general rehabilitation activities in 17 mobile homes installed in 1987. Problems identified in the homes were located in a variety of areas, including windows and doors, siding, heating systems and insulation, roofs and skirting.
A pilot home was set up in February 2011. In addition to that home, another 15 existing, three-bedroom units were renovated, while a 17th home was installed on a concrete slab.
Maine Housing provided additional leveraged funds through weatherization funds that contributed approximately $127,000 dollars towards the weatherization of 15 homes, which included the replacement of doors and windows. Western Maine Community Action staff coordinated all the weatherization activities for the project.
Volunteers and residents provided cleaning, painting and other services, saving approximately $30,000 in the process. According to volunteer site supervisors Dot Gordon and Reanna Greenman, more than 1,000 hours of volunteer work were recorded on the project.
The Foster Technology Center's building construction program provided labor for construction and setup of seven home entry and rear landings. Sixteen students under expert supervision by George Chimenti, director of construction program, worked on the project.
Steve Kaiser, Farmington's code enforcement officer, and Cindy Gelinas, a planning officer, were both credited by the corporation for offering "incredible support and guidance throughout the entire project."