In early 2021 a longtime local family, concerned with the lack of workforce housing, decided to donate nearly two acres of land in Londonderry, off Hells Peak Road on a road which will be called Bob Perry Lane, for an affordable housing project. The donors’ hope was to build a house on the property to make one family’s dream of homeownership a reality.
Later in 2021 a group of interested mountain town folks organized to become the Mountain Towns Housing Project Steering Committee and is made up of a group of interested volunteers seeking to bring this dream to a reality. The committee consists of members of local churches, "One Londonderry" volunteers working on housing concerns, and community members from a variety of area towns including Weston, Londonderry, So. Londonderry, Windham, Andover and Ludlow. Our Committee has also been working closely with the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust (WWHT), an affordable housing nonprofit developer serving both counties.
The gift of nearly two acres of land, exemplifies the very best of our Mountain communities - a gift from a long-time local family who want to support folks who live and work in our communities by providing an affordable home of their very own. Given in the spirit of 'Habitat for Humanity', the gift of the land is meant to be a hand up not a hand out.”
While the goal is to build a house that is affordable for a family, the biggest challenge is that it is nearly impossible to build an ‘affordable’ house in today’s market. The cost of construction has skyrocketed. The cost estimate is for the construction came in at $355,940 and adding in the cost of a well, septic, running electric to the house, etc., the total price tag of this project comes to $400,000. These funds will offset all upfront costs and the materials needed to build the house. Much of the labor will be done with volunteers, following the ‘Habitat for Humanity’ model.”
When the house is completed and a family has been selected, the new homeowners will get assistance with a down payment grant facilitated by the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust and take on a low-interest mortgage from a bank which works with the WWHT on affordable housing initiatives. The house will remain affordable in perpetuity through a partnership with Windham and Windsor Housing Trust.
Family selection will take place in the spring of 2023 and more information about this process will be shared with the community soon.
After the sale of the house to a family, we will then have funding available and a working model or template of how to build a modest home at a reasonable cost and ensure it remains affordable in the future (by continuing to partner with Windham and Windsor Housing Trust). The hope of the committee is much bigger than just one home. We envision this to be the first of many such efforts bringing together local residents, second homeowners, skilled tradespeople, and those in need of affordable housing to continue to build additional homes meeting a vital need in our community. This could include new construction on donated land, or rehab of an existing home from a tax sale