|press release KVCH--Maine||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: gkvontob (gkvontobCOLBY.EDU)|
|Date: Wed, 3 Aug 94 10:24 CDT|
Kennebec Valley CoHousing (KVCH), a non-profit housing and community development in Readfield, Maine, has received notice that a review of its preapplication for a 515 Rural Cooperative Housing (RCH) loan to finance 16 cooperatives homes has been completed by the Washington, D.D. office of Farmers Home Administration (FmHA). Upon submission of a final application and favorable review by FmHA, the KVCH cooperative will be the first RCH loan in the U.S. made by FmHA since the 515 program regulations were revised in 1991, and will receive a cooperative mortgate of $1,077,278 and 16 units of Rental Assistance. The 16 subsidized homes will be clustered in proximity to 8 market-rate homes and a shared community building or Common House. The mixed-income, collaborative community of 24 homes is planned for a 200 acre tract of land in Readfield, Maine, overlooking the Lake Maranacook basin. To qualify for membership in the FmHA coop, a household must meet FmHA income eligibility guidelines. For instance, a family of four that has an annual income below $33,800 would be eligible for a 3-bedroom home costing approximately $85,000. With a 50 year mortgage at 1% interest, the basic monthly housing costs would amount to $569 (including taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance fees) but is adjusted to be no more than 30% of household income! Under the regulations of the 515 program, prior home ownership is not an obstacle to eligibility. These are *affordable* cooperative homes in a *mixed-income* community. For example, those who are not eligible for a FmHA unit have the opprotunity to purchase a single-family or duplex cooperative home costing approximately $80-100,000 through a residential mortgage ("share loan") from either Peoples Heritage Bank or Key Bank of Maine. On July 29, KVCH closed on a $62,000 pre-development loan from the Maine Community Loan Fund (MCLF), a private, non-profit organization that provides below-market interest loans to non-profit organizations and cooperatives that are developing affordable housing and sustainable community-based enterprises. According to Peter Dunfey, MCLF Fund Manager, the KVCH project is a perfect example of the type of project the Loan Fund wishes to stimulate. By creating permanently affordable housing and renewing the tradition of farm and forestry uses of the land, the project will clearly contribute to the economic development of the Kennebec Valley. In June 1993, KVCH was awarded an Affordable Housing Program grant of $144,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. These funds are targeted to the land acquisition and site development costs of the 16-home FmHA cooperative. The home and site design includes state-of-the-art energy conservation techniques and, wherever financially feasible, environmentally-friendly building materials. All homes are sited within 15 degrees of true south for passive solar orientation. Life-cycle affordability is insured through superinsulation (R26 walls and R50 ceilings), air-to-air heat exchangers, and in-slab hydronic radiant heating systems. At least 50% of all lighting fixtures will be high-intensity florescents. Although propane is the fuel source, all systems are designed for easy conversion to active solar as photovoltaics become cost-effective. Estimated ANNUAL energy consumption of a typical 950 square foot, 3-bedroom home will be $116 for heat, $165 for hot water, $36 for cooking and $528 for electricity or $854 per year ($71 per month). With more than 30 acres of fields and orchards, KVCH anticipates supporting a working farming operation on the grounds as well as participating in a community-supported agriculture venture. The Kennebec Land Trust will hold a conservation easement on nearly 90% of the property. The easement will insure public access for recreation, limited future development of no more than 6 additional homes and maintenance of open space through sustainable silvacultural and agricultural land use practices. Financial diversity of all homes will be insured thorugh perpetual affordability covenants with the Maine Homestead Land Trust Alliance. KVCH submitted its final application to the Readfield Planning Board. After Board review and approval, KVCH expects to begin in October the construction of Maine's first CoHousing community--a model for rural re-development and land use; a national mocdel of people working together to concretely address the loneliness of bedroom communities through neighborliness, cooperation, mixed-income housing, environmental stewardship and sustainable agriculture. Pardon my wordiness/bragging--but you folks are the ones most able to recognize our joy to be able to send out this press release. I tried to edit out the purely local trivia. We look to begin a major push on recruitment on the heels of these milestones. Any CSA farmers, plumbers, musicians, foresters, etc. looking for a home in Maine, post direct to me :). Grace Von Tobel Kennebec Valley CoHousing (KVCH) Kennebec County, Maine gkvontob [at] colby.edu (207)547-4244 Grace Von Tobel Kennebec Valley CoHousing (KVCH) Kennebec County, Maine gkvontob [at] colby.edu (207)547-4244
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