Reporter, Barbara Quinn from the St Johns Review wrote an article about the Our Home visioning session held last week in St Johns. Thanks, Barbara!
Inclusive housing project holds visioning meeting
stjohnsreview.com November 27, 2015
By Barbara Quinn
A half-acre site at 8522 and 8506 N. Edison near N. Burlington has been purchased from Augie Calgano by a non-profit organization called Community Vision Inc. in partnership with Our Home, Inclusive Community Collaborative, a Benefit Corporation LLC whose mission is to provide home ownership opportunities for a diverse combination of families, singles and couples of all ages, abilities, and economic status.
Our Home led by Alicia DeLashmutt, a Founding Neighbor, and Community Vision Inc. held a visioning session at the BES Water Lab on Saturday, November 14, to gather feedback, and recruit volun- teers and prospective participants. The session was “about hearing from all of the parties involved” she said.
The aim of the project is to create a sense of community among homeowners rather than simply offer housing. Neighbors could offer mutual assistance while still maintaining their privacy and independence.
“Our goal is to create a diverse pocket neighborhood community consisting of families who have the opportunity for home-ownership and include indi- viduals often seen as ‘at-risk’ (elders, people who experience disability and people below median income). This community will be based on strengths, interests and shared values…” (inclusivecommunitycollaborative.org).
The two properties that make up the development site are zoned for multi-family housing and currently hold three single family houses. Our Home plans is to replace them with 15 to 18 dwellings potentially ranging in size from 700 to 1700 square feet that will offer home ownership opportunities to participants. “We want to keep as close to [that number of units] as possible…[and] we are looking at a condo project that will probably have several buildings with 2 to 4 units and 2 to 3 stories high,” said Alicia. The development project is in early stag- es. “We just selected the architect last week, so we don’t have the design or layouts yet.”
The group hopes to address not only the lack of housing, but other major challenges such as the problem of isolation among elders, inclusiveness in communities, the need for support systems and relationship building and opportunities for people at risk to have choices in their living situation. According to their website, “We envision a cluster of new and/or rehabilitated buildings surrounded by gardens and accessible outdoor spaces that are efficient, sustainable, accessible, affordable, aesthetically pleasing, welcoming and a neighborhood asset.” The development is ideally sited next to the Johns Community Garden, where an existing community of gardeners exists.
The Our Home development will offer homes at market rate, but subsi- dies will be available for a number of families or individuals that qualify.
If you would like to learn more about the project or join the Founders Table to help shape the community, contact Alicia at aliciadelashmutt.icc@gmail. com
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