Trust to break ground for affordable housing

Posted: Friday, June 01, 2001

There will be a public ground-breaking ceremony on Sunday for the first four houses to be built by the Juneau Housing Trust.

The ceremony will be from noon to 3 p.m. at the building site off Crow Hill Drive in Douglas. In addition to speakers, the event will feature refreshments and an opportunity to view the house plans.

There will also be applications available to those interested in buying the homes.

The four houses will be three-bedroom, two-bath, attached homes that the Trust plans to price below $155,000. The Trust will offer an interest-free grant to cover the down payment. The houses are being developed by Juneau Housing Trust and Housing First. The contractor for the buildings is a joint venture of George Fisher and Jonathan Wolfson.

Completion is expected this fall, but the houses may be presold, allowing buyers to help choose carpeting and other items.

The Juneau Housing Trust is one of an increasing number of community land trusts throughout the United States. Under a community land trust, the trust owns the land. By removing the cost of the land and its development from the cost of the house, the house itself becomes much more affordable.

To qualify for purchasing one of these homes, a household must be income qualified, or have an income below 80 percent of the median. The homebuyer must also be qualified for a mortgage. The Juneau Housing Trust is partnering with the Alaska USA Mortgage Company, Alaska Pacific Bank and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage to provide home mortgages.

The project is being funded by a grant from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, and donations from a number of organizations, including Housing First, Inc.; Interline Design; Simpson, Tillinghast, Sorensen and Longenbaugh; BRD Consultants; and Minch, Ritter, Voelkers Architects.

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