BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — The City of Boulder has launched a new grant program to help homeowners whose manufactured houses were damaged by the hurricane-force winds during the 2021 Marshall Fire.
According to the city, more than 400 homes had damage to the roofs, sidings, windows and doors that has led to rising energy costs and exposure to the elements.
Senior Housing Project Manager Crystal Launder said the manufactured home communities were most at risk and vulnerable in extreme weather events.
The program, called the Manufactured Housing Wind Damage Repair and Efficiency Upgrade Grant Program, will launch in February.
To start, residents will fill out a self-certification form, which must be submitted before applying for a Wind Damage Repair Grant. Then the homeowner must complete the grant application, review the grant agreement, choose and schedule a repair estimate, and sign the grant agreement. After that, the homeowner will sign a construction contract and do a final walkthrough with grant staff once the work is done. At the end of the process, grant program staff will review the final invoice and pay the contractor.
“Infrastructure in these communities is often outdated, and many manufactured homeowners lack insurance or the funds to make necessary repairs," Launder said. "On top of that, many of these families have lower incomes and cannot afford to make energy-efficiency upgrades. We developed this program to help prioritize these communities as they work toward resilience.”
Contractors will work with those in need to repair the homes and improve their insulation, ensuring they can hold up against other extreme weather conditions. The most urgent repair requests will be addressed first, followed by efficiency upgrades to help reduce energy use, lower utility bills and make the homes more comfortable, according to the city.
The program is funded by the new Climate Tax, which was approved by Boulder voters to provide long-term climate and resilience funding, according to the city.
Thanks to a partnership with Boulder County, the program will expand out to manufactured housing communities for residents in unincorporated Boulder County in the near future.
Laurel Mattrey, the city’s senior policy advisor for building efficiency, explained that housing is deeply connected to climate resiliency.
"Severe winds and weather extremes are year-round threats to our community, and we need to prepare for this 'new normal,'" Mattrey said. "This means making sure every community member has access to sturdy, efficient housing that conserves energy, provides adequate heating and cooling, and withstands the natural disasters climate change throws at us."