Houlton Region

Partnership between ACAP and the Maine Dept. of Economic and Community Development results in a new mobile home for a County family

CRYSTAL, Maine — Thanks to a partnership between Aroostook County Action Program and the Maine  Department of Economic and Community Development, a couple from Crystal have a new mobile home to replace their former residence which was beyond repair. 

A house warming event, attended by ACAP officials, community leaders and other partners  involved in the project, was held onsite last week at the new home of Roger and Shirley Smith  in the southern Aroostook County town. The celebration marked the culmination of a project  two years in the making that was delayed, in part, because of the pandemic and related supply  chain challenges. 

“We are so thankful that we learned about this program and the other assistance ACAP  provides as we truly could not have made it much longer in our old home,” said Shirley Smith.  “We recently had to take in our grandson to live with us, and I feel so much better about having  him live in the new mobile home. For the first time in many years, we will not have to worry  that our home will not make it through another winter.”

The Smiths originally reached out to ACAP for assistance with a roof replacement. Upon  inspection of the home, it was determined the structure unfortunately did not meet the  standards for roof replacement as it had too many other deficiencies.  

“We had a conversation of what other programs could they possibly benefit from at ACAP. I  explained to them how the mobile home replacement program works,” said Shannon Hill, ACAP  coordinator of energy and housing programs. 

Through its partnership with the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, ACAP was able to secure $30,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the project. The Smiths worked with their local lender, County Federal Credit Union, who after learning more about the first-time project for their institution, pre-approved the couple for a loan to pay the remainder.

“COVID-19 played a role in slowing the process down by affecting the availability of an  appraiser, then a lawyer, and materials needed to set up the home. Once everything fell in line,  it was fall/winter and not ideal for pouring a foundation,” said Hill. “The Smiths actually had to  make house payments all winter while still in the old house until spring came. Once the snow  was gone and we could get machinery on the ground, demolition of the old home was  completed and the foundation was poured for the new one pretty much in the exact same spot.” 

The Crystal home replacement project is the latest in line of similar projects ACAP has  completed County-wide. In recent years, the agency has worked with both Maine DECD and  MaineHousing to complete similar projects in Limestone, Littleton, and Soldier Pond.  

Celebrating 50 years of service to the people of northern Maine in 2022, Aroostook County  Action Program provides the people of Aroostook County with services and resources that help  individuals and families achieve greater economic independence. As a leader, or in partnership  with others, ACAP provides guidance to the community in responding to emerging human  needs in the areas of community health, early care and education, energy and housing, and  workforce development services. Aroostook County Action Program continues to accept new  clients as well as serve existing clients through a vast array of programming. To learn more  about available services, contact the ACAP Team at 207-764-3721.

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