Plan lets buyer trade labor for home Self-help project to be aired tonight

December 04, 1996|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

Taneytown may become the first community in Carroll County where working people who can't come up with a down payment for a house can trade their labor for a home of their own.

The Western Maryland Interfaith Housing Development Coalition hopes to use 4 acres of donated land for its first self-help housing project in the county. The land contains wetlands and a creek that will make layout of the houses more difficult, but coalition employees are working on ways to meet the environmental concerns.

The housing plan is scheduled for discussion at a City Council work session tonight at 7: 30 at the city office, 17 E. Baltimore St.

Mayor W. Robert Flickinger toured housing sponsored by the coalition in Frederick County in 1995 and came away impressed.

Under coalition sponsorship, people who cannot afford down payments work together in teams to help build houses. No one moves in until all houses in the project are completed.

The buyers obtain low-interest loans from Rural Development (formerly the Farmers Home Administration).

"Some people who cannot even get the down payment on a house can go in there and use their sweat and learn how a house gets built," Flickinger said.

Coalition officials declined to identify the location of the Taneytown property or the donor.

Jan Martin, coalition development director, said wetlands on the site present a challenge. "So the problem we're facing now is how to deal with that, to work with the environment and the lots we want to build on," she said.

The coalition helps people obtain housing in Maryland's five western counties.

It has a self-help project in Brunswick similar to the one planned in Taneytown and plans a 28-townhouse development for low-income elderly people in Woodsboro.

Pub Date: 12/04/96

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