Hope Village, a 13-unit urban home development, is underway in east Baltimore, offering a unique solution to help the homeless. This groundbreaking project is the brainchild of Chris and Pam Wilson, executive officers of Heart’s Place Services, who aim to provide affordable homes for the working poor.
The Wilsons’ vision involves absorbing the cost of construction and selling the houses to eligible candidates at a nominal amount. Stacey Sapperstein’s real estate development company has joined forces with them to make this idea a reality. The houses will be sold for $25,000, payable over 15 years, allowing residents to build equity in their homes.
To qualify as a candidate for Hope Village, individuals must have a steady job and demonstrate financial stability. Additionally, candidates are required to participate in financial literacy classes to ensure their long-term success as homeowners.
Supporting the new homeowners will be students with master’s degrees in social work, who will offer assistance to navigate the challenges that may arise when transitioning to homeownership. Their presence will ensure that residents have the necessary support to make their new homes a success.
The carefully designed houses in Hope Village are intended to accommodate households of four people. Each home is 400 square feet and incorporates energy-efficient features, from lighting to appliances. Additionally, the development will feature a community garden to foster a sense of community and provide opportunities for residents to connect with nature.
The goal of Hope Village is to serve as a pilot program, hoping to inspire other developers and cities, particularly Baltimore, to adopt this innovative approach to address homelessness and affordable housing. The new homeowners have already been selected and are currently undergoing financial counseling. Construction is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2024.
– Definition of Hope Village: Author’s knowledge
– Definitions of Heart’s Place Services: Author’s knowledge