South Boston Town Council authorized the use of federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to purchase the Westside Mobile Home Park area from Chaparral Investment, current owners on Monday.
The South Boston IDA will purchase the mobile home property at a cost of $300,000 and transfer individual lots to affordable housing non-profits for the purpose of building affordable single-family houses for community members.
At council’s Monday evening meeting, councilman Bill Snead commented the Westside project has been a “dream” of his since Tom Raab became the town manager, and he began having conversations with Raab about Westside.
“I can’t tell you how many times I rode through Westside and my heart broke for that area,” Snead recalled. “This (project) is a great thing for Westside, really great.”
The Westside project was a dream of former town manager Ted Daniels, as well. Daniels commented that he was glad to see the project become a reality, thanks to the town’s receipt of the ARPA funding.
Councilman Joe Chandler commented he sees the Westside project as an opportunity to make a “significant impact” on the lives of residents of South Boston in need of a “positive impact.”
The town will be responsible for completing infrastructure such as water, sewer and road structure.
But, its next step will be entering into a design contract with B&B Consultants, who will assist in determining the subdivision’s layout. B&B Consultants have already completed studies on the land in search of proper terrain.
Acting as its developer, the town plans to use 40 acres of the current Westside Mobile Home Park.
Habitat for Humanity is partnering with the town to put in traditional site-built homes while Tri-County Community Action Agency’s case workers will work with the residents to find a temporary living space.
The town’s goal is to provide 36 lots with homes that will be primarily rent houses for the residents of the area.
The ARPA funding was intended to be used to assist low-come families, who were hit hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic, and as Daniels says, this town project is the “poster child” for its purpose.
The ARPA funding, which are directly from the U.S. Department of Treasury, have to be obligated by Dec. 31, 2024, and the goal for construction of is Westside Mobile Home Park.