Habitat Gets Into Marin

Just three years ago, Marin county residents were busy raising money for a legal fight to stop Habitat for Humanity from building four homes affordable to families making under $56,000/year, saying it would “blight” their exclusive neighborhood of million dollar plus houses. (The project is still being debated.)

But now they are being welcomed with open arms in another part of the county as they renovate one of the foreclosed homes that even Marin has acquired a passel of. Habitat bought the house, which needs extensive rehab, for $215,000—it doesn’t sound affordable exactly to those of us in more affordable parts of the country, but in a county where the median home price is $800,000, I guess it qualifies. I do wonder with a gap that big how affordable property taxes will be/remain for the incoming family.

I suppose this is what they call a silver lining—not only for Habitat overcoming NIMBY attitudes, but for those of us concerned about vacant problem property. It’s been good to see Habitat moving into more rehab through their Neighborhood Revitalization Program instead of just new construction.

(Photo IJ/Frankie Frost.)

Miriam Axel-Lute is CEO/editor-in-chief of Shelterforce. She lives in Albany, New York, and is a proud small-city aficionado.


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