Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Chelan Valley Housing Trust mission: Providing quality homes to local wage earners


CHELAN - The Chelan Valley Housing Trust (CVHT), a member of the Manson Chamber of Commerce is a 501-c3 nonprofit housing developer with a mission of providing quality homes to local wage earners in the Chelan and Manson areas.
Why was CVHT formed? It is a fact the Lake Chelan Valley has a housing crisis. Most of our area’s workforce can no longer afford to live here. CVHT was formed to help solve this problem through the community land trust model.
Here’s how it works. Chelan Valley Housing Trust, under the Community Land Trust (CLT) model, builds a new home, using one-time public or private investment, then sells the home to a local wage earner who has obtained a loan to purchase the home. The CVHT keeps the land, holding it in trust for future generations of home buyers. In return for being able to buy a home at a discounted price, the buyer agrees to “pay it forward” and sell to another income qualified local family, at a price they can afford. The CVHT manages the sale process ensuring that owners increase their wealth building capacity while also allowing another income qualified buyer to afford the home at resale. In this way the one-time investment in CVHT homes makes lasting attainability a reality.
Visionaries for the Chelan Valley Housing Trust were Rachael Goldie, Tim Hollingsworth and Mike Cooney.  They started the Affordable Housing Initiative in 2018 and Chelan Valley Housing Trust was incorporated in the State of Washington and received 501-c3 status. Mike Cooney served as Executive Director until December 2022 then in January 2023 Scott Meyers took over the duties of Executive Director. I recently met with Scott to learn more about this organization.
Scott was born in Seattle and raised in Auburn, near the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation.  Scott has an undergraduate degree from Pacific Lutheran University in business administration with a concentration in finance, and a graduate degree from the University of Washington in accounting. Scott and Stacy have two sons Jackson and Archer.  The Meyers created and operated Lake Chelan Cheese for over ten years, at the same time Scott coached high school football for Manson. Scott says, “I'm a serial entrepreneur but my background is in accounting and auditing, most recently I worked as a Department of Defense auditor for Deloitte & Touche.”
I asked Scott his main goal as Executive Director, “I hope to provide the workers of the valley an opportunity to purchase a home and realize the American Dream.  I want to see our valley function well and reduce poverty, which I believe starts with home ownership.”
Who can apply? Households earning between 80%-120% area median income (AMI=$78,800) and meeting other criteria are able to be considered. So far, five units have been built and sold, with another eight units completed in 2023 and over 50 units coming in 2024-2025. For the new home buyer, this is a great opportunity to purchase a home, if you qualify.
Emerson Village, featuring five townhouses was CVHT’s first project located at East Chelan Avenue and North Emerson Street. Several small projects are on the drawing boards with a huge, 40 plus home development scheduled a year from now on Anderson Road.
Most of CVHT’s funding comes by way of private donors. They also receive some funding from the City of Chelan, Chelan County and other publicly funded organizations.
“I would encourage those with surplus land to consider donating and those with extra time and a desire to help, please volunteer. One of CVHT’s greatest resources is the quality of the volunteers who have stepped up to serve on our initial Board of Directors,” Scott said. CVHT’s Board of Directors includes Jolene Baker, president; Clint Campbell,vice-president; Randy Atkins, treasurer; Arlene Abbott, secretary, Tim Hollingsworth, Charlie Guildner, Diane Leigh, Sharon Lukacs, Marguerite Palumbo Elspas, Dr. Jay Waszkewitz and Rachael Goldie, Housing Director.
The best way to get started is by visiting CVHT’s website at https://chelanvalleyhousing.org/own/ for more information and to apply. You can contact CVHT’s office, located at 123 E. Johnson Avenue Ste.#1 in Chelan,  contact by phone 509-508-1183 or email info@chelanvalleyhousing.org. Business hours are 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and by appointment Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

CVHT Neighborhoods
CVHT is building six, two bedroom/1- and 2-bath townhomes on Nixon Avenue  for local wage earners making 120% Area Median Income or less. These homes will be finished by Fall 2023.
CVHT is building two, three bedroom, two bath homes on Iowa Street in South Chelan for local wage earners making 120% Area Median Income or less. These homes will be finished by Fall 2023.
Chelan River Heights is 9.15 acres surrounded by views of the Butte, Stormy Mountain, and the Chelan River Gorge. The land is owned by Chelan Valley Housing Trust and located at 38 Anderson Road. This property will be developed into up to 45 mixed income homes with a small community feel. While still in initial design and pro-forma phases, CVHTs vision for Chelan River Heights would be to serve attainable home ownership to local wage earners in the Chelan Valley in a setting that matches the agricultural and aesthetic beauty of the town. They will accomplish this by using designs that match the Chelan Valley aesthetic and feel, creating open and walkable space that makes sense for the community, and utilizing public grants, private funding, and community fundraising to reach the target pricing goals that will actually make homes attainable for our community.
Their very first neighborhood. Located at the corner of North Emerson Street and East Chelan Avenue, this new community of five townhomes has been built and sold to income qualified buyers to show our community and funders that attainable homes can really be built.



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