Organization Name: Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank
Project Title: Park @ 220
Project Location: Town of Herkimer, NY
A decades-old trailer park made up of mostly outdated “mobile” homes that can no longer be relocated by law. The previous owner was behind in the tax payments and the water bills. The municipality was faced with turning off the water, during the Holiday season, to residents that had been paying their lot rents. This predicament led the municipality to work with the Land Bank to take over ownership of the park. The Land Bank facilitated negotiations between the owner, local government and NYS housing agencies allowing the Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank (GMVLB) to gain title, with the owner paying down the past due utility bills. To address a statewide issue of deteriorating living conditions in the thousands of “mobile” homes, emblematic in this park, the Land Bank developed a plan to swap-out these structures with a permanent, Zero Energy modular house. The plan replaces energy-wasting trailers, which can cost the owners hundreds of dollars a month in utility costs and use those savings to finance a new house that will have a net-zero energy cost year over. Utilizing extensive insulation and solar panels the building will produce excess electricity in the summer months that will offset the electric draw during the winter months.
The new Park @ 220 will immediately improve one of the most distressed properties in the community which will raise property values of the surrounding neighborhood, and the larger township as it is located along the entrance corridor to the town. It will serve as a model for the numerous other trailer parks throughout the county and the state. It will help reduce the community carbon footprint through renewable energy, reduce consumption of the town’s water supply and through alternative on-site wastewater treatment systems, improve the quality of the groundwater in the area. The Park will have a community electric car charging station to afford the homeowners a low-cost shared transportation option where little public transportation exists. The Park’s community building will provide a convenient and neutral place to meet with social service workers and conduct training workshops on employment opportunities, financial literacy, etc. The Park will also promote growing vegetables and will plant fruit trees for shade and sustenance. Lastly, but not least, the Land Bank will help the residents build their lives as well as their homes, which can impact the larger community as a whole.
The Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank (GMVLB) addresses vacant, abandoned and blighted properties located within the otherwise picturesque Mohawk Valley region. The GMVLB acts in conjunction with Foreclosing Governmental Units (FGUs), other municipalities, and non-profit groups across the Six-Counties, to leverage all available resources to revitalize the region’s built environment, thereby making it more attractive to new development and investment.
Owner/Developer: Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank
Builder: Bill Lake Modular Homes
Design: 4Site Consulting, LLC
Engineering: Ecological Engineering Group, Inc
Energy: ReWire Group, LLC