Emerson Village, the Chelan Valley Housing Trust’s first attainable home community, which was built largely through community donations and grants, is celebrating the sell-out of the five townhomes built by K&L Homes of Chelan.


CHELAN — The Chelan Valley Housing Trust invites the community to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for Emerson Village from 10 AM until noon on Saturday, April 17th, to celebrate the sell-out of CVHT’s first attainable home community, located at 305 North Emerson Street.

“The completion of Emerson Village is our first tangible step to provide affordable homes for our locals and support a stable workforce,” begins CVHT Executive Director Mike Cooney. “Through the generosity of our community—private donors, local businesses, the Chelan Chamber of commerce, and grants from the city and county—we made this happen.”

“Our ribbon cutting ceremony is a huge thank you to all the donors who helped us raise $170,000 and to the volunteers that put in countless hours to make the dream of owning a home in the Chelan valley a reality for local wage earners.” Funded by a $1 million construction loan from North Cascades Bank, Emerson Village was built by K&L Homes of Chelan.

According to Rachael Goldie, the trust’s Executive Administrator, each of the five townhomes of Emerson Village is being purchased by a local Chelan wage earner who met the income qualification of earning up to, or slightly more than, the valley’s average median income of $52,000. The purchase price for each home was $200,000.

“The need for attainable housing in our valley has never been higher,” says Goldie. “We helped over 80 potential buyers go through the process of filing out home buyer applications. And we look forward to helping those who did not receive a home at Emerson Village to qualify for a home in our next attainable home community.”

Planning has already begun on the next CVHT community; attendees to the ribbon cutting ceremony can view the preliminary design for this 9-acre property on Anderson Road. “While Emerson Village is a milestone, it is just the beginning,” says CVHT President Tim Hollingsworth. “We learned a great deal going through the building of our first community. And now that we’ve gotten our feet wet, we are ready to take on a much larger build on a truly beautiful piece of property, which will bring another 35 to 40 attainable homes to the valley.”

Key community leaders will participate in the Emerson Village ceremonial ribbon cutting and the trust’s board members will be on hand to answer questions and give tours of one of the 2-bedroom 1.5-bath townhomes. All attendees are invited to participate in a champagne (or apple cider) toast on the common gathering area of the townhome community. 

“We’re providing homes for five local families today,” remarks Cooney. “And we’re also helping  35 additional families own these homes over the next five decades because, on average, our buyers today will hold onto these homes for seven years and then make them available to new buyers in the future.” 

As Emerson Village follows the land trust model—whereby the trust retains ownership of the land—each home is kept affordable into perpetuity. While this model has an income equity cap, that equity along with the savings from rental fees helps CVHT homebuyers afford a market rate home in the future. 

As Goldie explains, “After only five years of ownership at Emerson Village, the home equity gain and not having to dish out apartment rent each month puts roughly $40,000 in our owner’s pocket when they sell their home to the next CVHT buyer.  When you are making $52,000 a year, that means a whole lot.”