Mountain Towns Housing Project under way

Paul Alcorn, chair of the Mountain Towns Housing Project, has announced that the Bob Perry Lane house is well under way, and the steering committee has reached the first milestone of $100,000 in fundraising to get things started.

The foundation for the Perry Lane project has been poured.

The Bob Perry Lane house is a modest home currently under construction that will be sold to a local family meeting certain income criteria. Alcorn said, “We have heard from local residents that they can’t afford to live in the town they grew up in because affordable housing is scarce in our mountain communities. People who have lived here all their lives have a hard time finding an affordable home as they seek to be on their own, start families, establish a business, or find employment with a local business.”

In Windham and Windsor counties the average listing price of a home vs. the average estimated value rose 122 percent from Dec. 20, 2020 to Dec. 21, 2021, according to the Vermont Association of Realtors.

Affordable housing is considered housing for our local workforce or essentially a primary home. This means providing housing for families who earn between $47,093 and $109,000 (80 percent – 120 percent of median income in Windham County). These are the folks who teach at our local schools, work at the grocery store, hardware store, at the ski resorts, provide support services for second homeowners, drive the town’s snowplows, wait tables at area restaurants, work at the medical center, and many other jobs.

The Bob Perry Lane project started in early 2021 when a longtime local family concerned with the lack of workforce housing, decided to donate 1.76 acres in Londonderry for an affordable housing project. The donors’ hope was to build a house on the property to make one family’s dream of homeownership a reality. Later that year, a group of interested mountain town residents organized the Mountain Towns Housing Project Steering Committee, with the goal of bringing this dream to a reality. The Steering Committee consists of volunteers from a variety of towns including Weston, Londonderry, South Londonderry, Andover, Windham and Ludlow. The group has also been working with the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust, an affordable housing nonprofit developer serving Windham and Windsor counties.

  • To make a gift to support this project, please make your check payable to: Mountain Towns Housing Project and mail it to P.O. Box 538, Londonderry, VT  05148. If you prefer to give online, click here. Or you can make your check payable to: Community Fund for Londonderry, with “Perry Lane Project” in the memo line and mail it to P.O. Box 399, Londonderry, VT  05148. To sign up to volunteer to work on the site starting in the spring, contact Paul  Alcorn at 

“While the goal is to build a house that is affordable for a family, the biggest challenge is that it is nearly impossible to build an ‘affordable’ house in today’s market. The cost of construction has skyrocketed,” Alcorn said adding that, “The cost estimates for the construction came in at $355,940 and adding in the cost of a well, septic, running electric to the house, etc., the total price tag of this project comes to $400,000. These funds will offset all upfront costs and the materials needed to build the house. Much of the labor will be done with volunteers, following the ‘Habitat for Humanity’ model.”

When the house is completed and a family has been selected, the new homeowners will get assistance with a down payment grant through the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust and take on a low-interest mortgage. The house will remain affordable in perpetuity through a partnership with Windham and Windsor Housing Trust. Family selection will take place in the spring of 2023 and more information about this process will be shared with the community soon.

Alcorn commented, “The vision of the steering committee is much broader than just one  home — we envision this to be the first of many such efforts bringing together local residents, second homeowners, skilled tradespeople, and those in need of housing that  is attainable to build additional homes meeting a vital need in our community. This  could include new construction on donated land or the rehab of an existing home.”

The next fundraising goal is to raise an additional $60,000 by Dec. 31, 2022. This  will allow the group to order the shell of the house in January 2023 that will be  constructed by LaValley’s, delivered to the site in late March, and installed on the  foundation so volunteer work can be started.

The committee would like to thank all of the donors to date who have supported the  Perry Lane project, especially the couple who donated the land for the house. We also  thank those individuals and businesses who have donated products or services totaling  over $110,000.

The Mountain Towns Housing Project is organized under the 501c3 of the Second  Congregational Church in Londonderry, but the project is not religiously affiliated.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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