ARPA Funding Overview
Many mobile home parks in Vermont struggle to provide clean and adequate drinking water, wastewater, stormwater and drainage systems. The Governor has proposed allocating $15 million in ARPA support to provide technical and financial assistance to remedy those challenges and support safe, affordable housing. The General Assembly has appropriated $3.25 million for this effort for state fiscal year 2022. This funding will provide grants to improve living conditions for people in mobile home parks and help residents follow Vermont’s environmental regulations. Grants can be used to complete a needs assessment, receive technical assistance, and cover construction costs necessary to implement water infrastructure solutions.
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For-profit and non-profit organizations that represent mobile home parks can apply for funding through a competitive grant program for technical assistance, design, and permitting and construction. Eligible project types include drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure improvements.
- Needs assessments of mobile home parks for future water / wastewater projects
- Technical assistance / engineering for supported water / wastewater construction projects
- Water source redevelopment / installations
- Connections to municipal water / sewer projects
- Installation / repair of on-site wastewater systems
- Stormwater retrofits, installations, and developments
- Improvements to site drainage including moving sites out of floodplains / river corridors.
- Water supply distribution system installations / repairs
- Wastewater collection system installations / repairs
A portion of the total allocated funding (up to 25% of the State Fiscal Year 2022 allocation) will be designated before the construction grant application is received.
This funding will provide mobile home parks with technical assistance grants and needs assessment services via a state-administered contract. The needs assessment and technical assistance work can be used to supplement a future grant proposal in a subsequent year for the individual mobile home park.
These grants and services will support an eventual construction grant application. Funding in subsequent years would focus on construction projects.
This funding is targeted at providing water infrastructure grants to mobile home parks to invest in healthy, reliable infrastructure to address drinking water, wastewater, stormwater and drainage issues, resulting in healthier, more resilient living spaces for residents in mobile home parks, a historically underserved group in Vermont.
Mobile home parks are disproportionately impacted by environmental justice issues in Vermont. According to the Vermont Rural Environmental Justice Opportunities Informed by Community Expertise (REJOICE), during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, 40% of those impacted by Irene were mobile home park residents, even though these residents only make up 8% of the state’s population.
Research has shown that Vermonters, particularly low-income Vermonters, have disproportionately experienced increased impacts from COVID-19 compared to the general population of Vermont and the US. Additionally, mobile home parks typically represent a number of low-income Vermonters.
By focusing efforts on mobile home parks through technical assistance, needs assessments and construction grant programs, Vermont is providing direct relief and technical and financial assistance to a demographic of Vermont’s population that have historically been underserved, under-represented, and overburdened.
In late 2021, the Department of Environmental Conservation will host community forums to engage individual mobile home parks interested in the program.