Emerson Village project begins with a celebration and help from Fire Dist.

CHELAN—The Chelan Valley Housing Trust (CVHT) invites the public to attend a “S’more Affordable Homes” house burning party on 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 5-townhome project.

“This has been a community effort all the way,” begins 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 Houses!” burn party.

According to Assistant Chief Brandon Asher of Chelan Fire and Rescue, the controlled burn, which will begin at 8:00 AM, will offer live burn training scenarios for the firefighters. “Then around 3:00 PM we will literally burn the house down,” comments Asher. “Our goal is to have it burned to the ground by the time it gets dark.”

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,” remarks 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 houses, 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 .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,” says 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 1179-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 Houses in Chelan is not just a slogan,” says 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,” emphasizes 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.”

To donate money or land, or to inquire about home ownership at Emerson Village, visit chelanvalleyhousing.org or email info@chelanvalleyhousing.org.

CUTLINE: Drawings by Forte Architects depict the community of Emerson Village, the first 5-townhome housing project offered by Chelan Valley Housing Trust in downtown Chelan.