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LITTLE OLD LADY HOUSES

A couple, aged 90 and 94, were informed by their landlord they had to move after renting their home for forty years…
 

A woman in her late fifties-early sixties was unable to afford housing while working full-time at Walmart in northern Maine. As a result, she lived in a garden shed, no running water, no electricity. A neighbor allowed her to use their electricity by supplying her with an extension cord…

A young woman was laid off due to COVID. Her landlord evicted her and her six-week-old baby. They were living in her car…

I have two women friends from college, (Bennington College), who live on the edge of homelessness, living paycheck to paycheck until they drop, doing work that denies them any kind of financial security. They are in their late sixties, early seventies and can never stop working. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not reminded how precarious our lives are.

That's why I'm a part of the Little Old Lady Houses project, and why I'm hoping you'll join me in helping make a difference in the lives of so many women who desperately need help.

what can i do to change anything?

Help us help them

Little Old Lady Houses is part of a 501c3 program set up under the name Jackson Housing Opportunities Matter. Our goal is to create an environmentally intelligent, reasonably priced, aesthetically harmonious development of homes scattered throughout Jackson, NH, that includes universally designed residences for aging women each with an accessory dwelling unit, along with residences for young families, and those who can’t afford to live in Jackson but could work there if housing was available. Our intent is to establish a real estate trust that will own residences designated for this constituency and give them the houses outright. They will have the responsibility for maintenance and taxes. When the occupant leaves, another aging woman will be considered for occupancy based on her income and a personal statement.

The Accessory Dwelling Units will generate rent at below market rates in exchange for the tenant agreeing to do minor caretaking and looking in on the primary resident. All of this would be itemized in a written agreement. The rent will be deposited to the trust to help maintain and pay taxes on the property. A similar amount from the primary resident will also be deposited. Money raised for constructing additional LOLHs will be set aside for this exclusive use.

We believe our process can serve as a prototype for other towns and villages in New England and beyond. Not only is community input and understanding necessary and critical, but an additional gathering of stakeholders, (including banks and mortgage companies, local businesses and those seeking housing), are needed to engage in dialogue with the intent of creating and/or legitimizing alternative financial options for people to secure housing.

Please download our PDF pitch deck below and share it with anyone you think might be able to help us help others. Pass it along to members of your own communities to potentially start a program like this there. If we all take the time to care about each other, we can make this world a truly better place for everyone inhabiting it. Thank you.

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OUR PROTOTYPE HOUSING DESIGN

THE INSPIRATION - SERENBE, LOCATED JUST OUTSIDE OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA