CHELAN — The Chelan Valley Housing Trust (CVHT) invites the public to attend a “S’more Affordable Homes” house burning party Nov. 16 on the corner of North Emerson Street and East Chelan Avenue when Chelan Fire and Rescue will do a controlled burn of the existing home to make way for the trust’s first five-townhome project.
“This has been a community effort all the way,” said Rachael Goldie, housing trust administrator, “from believing in our mission, to raising the funds, to purchasing this first site, to partnering with every business and individual who helped make this happen. We’re grateful for all the support and want everyone to celebrate with our ‘S’more Affordable Homes’ burn party.”
According to Assistant Chief Brandon Asher of Chelan Fire and Rescue, the controlled burn, which will begin at 8 a.m., will offer live burn training scenarios for the firefighters.
“Then around 3 p.m. we will literally burn the house down,” Asher said. “Our goal is to have it burned to the ground by the time it gets dark.”
The party will start at the time of the burn.
A safe viewing area of chairs and tables will be set up in the city parking lot directly across from the home on North Emerson Street for the community to help celebrate this first step in the trust’s mission to provide home ownership for wage earners in the valley. Coffee, soft drinks and water will be available along with platters of miniature marshmallows on cocktail sticks, miniature chocolates and teddy grahams.
“We’re roasting the house instead of the marshmallows,” said Clint Campbell, vice president of the nonprofit housing trust. “The idea is when everyone brings their own passion, their own fire, to this issue of more affordable homes, then real change does indeed take place. We’re finding a way for people who work here to be able to live here.”
To date, all the funding to support Emerson Village has come from businesses, the city and private donors. The 0.19-acre lot was purchased at below market pricing for $200,000.
“Big or small, every donation helps and during this party we’ll be taking s’more of them with the sale of CVHT T-shirts, embroidered hats, and housing trust memberships,” said Mike Cooney, housing trust committee member.
Architectural drawings of Emerson Village will be on display at the party showing the design of the community with interior floor plans of the 1,179-square foot townhomes. CVHT board members and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions, get feedback from the community, connect with potential owners of the townhomes, take donations and talk about volunteer opportunities.
“S’more Affordable Homes in Chelan is not just a slogan,” said Goldie, “it’s a movement that will literally rise from the ashes on the corner of Emerson and Chelan when groundbreaking for Emerson Village begins in the spring.”
The townhomes will sell for $200,000 and are available to those earning up to $52,000, the valley’s average median income.
“While this is a milestone for the housing trust, it’s just the first step,” said Tim Hollingsworth, housing trust president. “We’re in negotiations right now for other parcels of land, and we can’t thank the community enough for the way everyone has embraced our mission.”