As of May 23, 2012
Here is what we know at the moment:
- 64 homes in The Spruces Mobile Home Park have been saved
- 153 homes are lost
- Approximately 50 people are living in temporary quarters
- The 64 families that have been allowed to return to the park face an uncertain future for two reasons:
- The owner of the park, Morgan Management, Inc., is suing the Town of Williamstown and the State of Massachusetts, and may decide to close the park permanently
- Their homes are in a flood plain, and some are in a flood way.
Here is what we know in the moment (updated October, 2011):
– The Town Manager has said everything possible will be done to keep the Spruces park open for all those who are able to bring their unit up to the state codes even if Morgan Management does not fulfill its obligations as landlord.
– Many of the Spruces units were “grandfathered in” around the applicable state codes before the storm but the storm has triggered conditions that cancel that “grandfathered in” status and make it necessary for all units to comply with current state codes for habitable buildings. This is not a local town decision, but one that is necessitated by state housing codes.
– As of 10/18/11: 38 mobile homes have been cleared for occupancy. There are a few more which might receive a certificate of occupancy before winter.
– Approximately 37 additional mobile homes MIGHT be cleared for occupancy in 2012 IF owners of these mobile homes are willing to invest up to $50,000 for repairs and in many cases, an additional $30,000 to elevate them. Additional expenses may include electrical and gas certifications, and possibly a complete engineer evaluation of the property.
– At this time, it is not legal for an unlicensed contractor to do work in a residence. It IS legal for a resident to literally work on his or her own home. In either case, the inspector must pass the work that has been done. Beware of individuals who are passing themselves off as legitimate who are not actual contractors and who may either not complete the work or not take responsibility for it when it is completed.
– Electricity for the west side of Bachand Ave, Riverside Drive, Emerald Lane, Nutmeg Lane, and parts of Higgins Drive has not been restored. It can only be restored through major work by the management estimated to cost about $500,000 which would be completed by April 2012 at the earliest.
– In accordance with Mass Health Code (citation #105 CMR.410.201) residents of the state of Massachusetts are prohibited from occupying dwellings with no heat source after October 15 of any calendar year. For reasons of safety and health, it is possible that those who are occupying homes without proper occupancy clearance from the town may be subject to legal proceedings in order to ensure everyone’s health and safety.
– There are some alternative housing possibilities that the Berkshire Regional Housing authority and FEMA have discovered. All of our agencies are painfully aware that there is not enough available housing in the immediate area but we are still working on possibilities for winter housing for everyone.