The trust then put out a request for proposals to find a nonprofit developer to tear down the old house and build a new one on the half-acre site, with the intent of selling it for below the market rate, said Selectman Gardner Trask, who is also chairman of the Danvers Affordable Housing Trust. Ownership of the property was transferred to Habitat two weeks ago. The group has met with neighbors to inform them of its plans.
The deal meant Habitat was able to take ownership of the property without having to pay for it, in return for constructing the home and selling it at an affordable rate, Trask said.
This is the first project facilitated by the trust, which was created in 2011. Trask said the trust was formed so it could act on projects without having to wait for Town Meeting approval, as was the case with the Coolidge Road home.
The most important aspect of the project is “a new family will move into a new house next year,” Trask said.
Those seeking to qualify for the house have to demonstrate a need, Cowles said. They may be living in unsafe, unsanitary or overcrowded conditions, or be spending more than half their income on rent. There are also income guidelines. Families making up to 60 percent of the area’s median income, which for a family of four would be around $56,000, would be eligible to apply. Danvers residents will be given preference.
One of the biggest factors for a potential applicant is sweat equity; accepted applicants must invest 400 hours to help build the house.
“You have to be willing to partner with us,” Cowles said.
Habitat is currently building a house in Lynn, which will be finished before construction begins on the Danvers house. In a side note, Cowles said, when crews arrived at the Lynn build the other day, they found someone had stolen all their power tools, including nail guns, reciprocating saws and circular saws. He said the theft will not push back the construction schedule, but the organization will have to replace the tools.
Details on how to apply to partner with Habitat for Humanity North Shore on the Coolidge Road home can be found at http://habitatforhumanity-northshore.com, or by calling 781-598-0310.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.