House Backs Mobile Home Safeguards
VT State Legislature is currently considering a bill that would protect mobile home residents by requiring maintenance of roads and access points for emergency responders. The article below from the Waterbury Record provides more information on what this bill would do to address these safety concerns:
2011, flooding from Tropical Storm Irene destroyed more than 40 mobile homes in Whalley Park in Waterbury, flooded all 19 mobile homes at Patterson Park in Duxbury, and demolished 125 mobile homes in all across the state. The flooding damaged a total of 16 trailer parks and led to the closure of two parks, where up to 40 mobile homes were either destroyed or damaged with no money for repair, according to the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. Now, state legislators are considering a bill to give more protections to mobile home residents by requiring park owners to maintain safe roads and access points for emergency responders. The House voted 95-47, with seven abstentions, to pass a bill sponsored by Rep. William Botzow, D-Bennington; the Senate takes it up next. “The protections advanced by the House embody the essential role of state government,” House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morristown, said this week. “Working to ensure the health and safety of all Vermonters — rural, urban, low and moderate income — is vital to the health of our communities and state.” The bill was introduced after legislators directed the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development to investigate problems affecting residents of the state’s 7,125 mobile home lots. Up to three-quarters of the state’s 242 mobile home parks are 40 years old or more, and many lack up-to-date septic and utility systems, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Rep. Helen Head, who chairs the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, applauded the bill. “This bill creates a path for enforcement of health and safety, ensuring that ambulances and fire trucks can get in to help residents in our mobile home parks,” she said. “All Vermonters should have access to emergency services in their time of need.”
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