Mountain Towns Housing Project announces a family has been selected for the Bob Perry Lane House
November 11, 2023, Londonderry, VT
Martha Dale and Patty Eisenhaur, co-chairs of the Mountain Towns Housing Project (MTHP) Steering Committee are excited to announce that a family has been selected to purchase the Bob Perry Lane House. “This is indeed a joyous and significant event,” stated Martha Dale. “Kara Corlew and her two children, Isaiah who is 8, and Eden who is 6, are unbelievably excited, and all systems are go to get them into the house by the end of the year or early 2024.” Martha continued. “Kara has served in the Army Reserves with the Engineers for fourteen years and was deployed to Kuwait in 2021. She teaches at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams in the radiology program, and works at the Carlos Otis Clinic at Stratton Mountain on a per diem basis. The family is connected to our mountain community in many ways, with grandparents Laurie and Scott Rawson close by along with the children’s father, Mathew Rawson. Kara volunteered with flood recovery and cleanup, and organized her Army Reserve unit to help clear away pallets of wood pellets from the Stove Depot on Main Street that were destroyed in the July flood. She has put many hours of volunteer work into the construction of the Bob Perry Lane house, helping with sheetrock, painting and more.” Martha concluded, “The Corlew family is a perfect match for the house, the children will attend Flood Brook School, and will remain actively involved in our town for years to come.”
When notified that she and her family had been selected to purchase the home, Kara said, “This is incredible and I had a moment of disbelief until the reality set in that we would be able to stay in this area, close to our family.” She continued, “Laurie and Scott Rawson, the children’s grandparents, will be right around the corner, and that is important as they have such a close relationship with Isaiah and Eden. They are so involved in their lives and help out a lot with childcare.” Kara concluded, “Being able to purchase this house means the world to all of us – the kids are excited they’ll have their own room and can choose their favorite color to paint their rooms, they’ll be able to ride their dirt bikes, we can have a garden and grow our own vegetables – it’s just such an amazing opportunity for us and we are so deeply grateful to all those who made this possible for us, the couple who donated the land, the donors who provided the funds, the volunteers who have helped build the
house, and the local contractors who have donated their products and services; it truly is remarkable.”
The house was intended to go to a family of modest means, more commonly referred to as the “missing middle” – those who are working full–time but are unable to afford the high real estate prices in our communities. Several families applied to purchase the house, and to qualify, certain salary requirements (80% - 120% of the area median income based on family size) had to be met along with a satisfactory credit rating, a connection to the local community, and a commitment to investing “sweat equity” into the house. In partnership with the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust, the house will also remain affordable in perpetuity due to covenants and restrictions.
In addition to the couple who donated the land for the project, MTHP is incredibly grateful to over 156 individual donors, organizations, foundations, and businesses who have made a gift in support of this project. This includes local contractors such as Hunter Excavating, Homestead Landscaping, Wadsworth Design Build, Frost Wells & Pumps, Record Concrete, Brown Enterprises, VT Foam Insulation, Marquise & Morano, LLC, and Weston Island Logging who have contributed or pledged services to help complete the project.” For a complete list of donors please visit the MTHP website at https://www.mountaintownshousing.org.
This project is truly a grassroots effort to get something positive started in the mountain towns area relative to necessary and attainable housing options. While there is a critical need for many more units, this is a starting place. Once the house is completed and sold to the family, the MTHP will have funds to reinvest in another project. This could be another house like the Bob Perry Lane home, or possibly the construction of a duplex, or a rehab of an existing home purchased outright or from a tax sale. Ultimately, the MTHP is building a legacy organization that will continue to help provide affordable housing options well into the future.
Patty Eisenhauer stated, “Our focus now is to cover the cost of materials needed to complete the interior of the house and to finish the exterior with clapboards and trim.” She continued, “We still need to purchase all manner of construction supplies but we are confident we can get there as we have such a generous community that we know wants to see this home completed.” Patty concluded with, “Having selected a family puts real faces on the beneficiaries of this project. We can’t wait until we can hand over the keys to the house to
Kara and her family, and know that one family has stable and affordable housing and can continue to build roots in our community.”
The Bob Perry Lane Project is close to achieving its final fundraising goal and the MTHP needs your support to get this project done. If you would like to make a gift to support this project, please make your check payable to: Mountain Towns Housing Project and mail it to PO Box 538, Londonderry, VT 05148. If you prefer, you can make a gift online by visiting https://secure.myvanco.com/YGY2/home, the website of the Second Congregational Church, then select the “Perry Lane Project”. You can also donate to this project through the Community Fund for Londonderry; make your check payable to: Community Fund for Londonderry, note that it is for the “Perry Lane Project”, and mail it to PO Box 399, Londonderry, VT 05148. To sign up to volunteer to work on the site, visit the website and fill out the form or send an inquiry to email@example.com.
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