Category Archives: Golden – Neighborhood Rehab Project

Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

A friend recently asked what my thoughts were on affordable housing.  My first response, “That’s a loaded question.” 

My greatest fear is that I may never learn how to solve this problem in my own part of the world because visiting homes in remote post disaster struck regions of Haiti, El Salvador, and Nepal has forever shifted my perspective.  The American culture has a skewed idea of what is affordable and the cost of housing is escalating out of control.  This is not a problem unique to the United States and thus the solution varies greatly by region. 

house-damageThe families we met in Mahadevtar, a remote village in the mountains of Nepal, were very kind and overly generous hosts. While there, we conducted post disaster assessments; 98% of homes were destroyed and/or completely unsafe. 

Simple farming families, the only thing affordable to them at that moment was the corrugated metal shack they were sleeping in.  Namaste Nepal raised and distributed money to help these families rebuild, closing the gap between what is “affordable” and what is not in this region of Nepal. 

 

house paintThe families we worked side by side with in El Salvador were both gracious hosts and hard workers.  Habitat for Humanity does an excellent job of helping entire communities and regions develop affordable housing, one house at a time.  Many homes in Ahuachapan had been destroyed by floods years earlier, but when we were there in 2013, several had been rebuilt and many more were in progress. 

We helped one family build a new flood/earthquake resistant home and it was amazing to participate in the project. 

neighbors-childrenMy heart still aches for the people of Haiti.  Six years after the horrible 2010 earthquake, many are still without an affordable safe home. 

The recovery in Nepal and El Salvador is credited to the great network of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs or non-profits) and the partnerships with local government. 

 

A strong infrastructure is absolutely critical to solving housing problems. 

Haiti is lacking in organization and thus suffers the fate of great poverty and minimal housing.  Why then can’t a country like the United States, one supposedly well supported with great infrastructure, solve critical housing issues like the lack of affordable housing?”   I’m not sure which frustrates me more, the helplessness of Haiti or the complete arrogance of our American culture. 

 The City of Golden, CO is currently facing a dangerous lack of affordable housing. Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Golden has drawn many new outdoor enthusiasts, but has yet to meet the new housing demand.    I credit the City for hiring a staff member dedicated solely to affordable housing, but there is much yet to be done.   

NRP-logoNeighborhood Rehab Project (NRP), a local non-profit, has now formed a team dedicated to helping to develop affordable housing in Golden.  

A local architect and new member of this affordable housing team, I look forward to working with NRP and disproving my fear of not finding way to solve this problem locally.

That’s my 2 cents on the topic.  Thanks for reading. 

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ONE DAY – A chance to help many

Only 3 weeks till our first BRS/Be A Tool Build day in Golden, CO and we have almost 40 volunteers on board!

NRP-logoThank you Neighborhood Rehab Project for organizing the event! Thank you volunteers for your interest and generous support!

Last week we had a chance to meet with the 5 home owners and learn more about their repair needs.   The projects range from painting and yard work to a full deck replacement and a new roof.   In only ONE DAY, we can help many live in a warmer, safer, dryer home.

This week we are very excited to reveal our official Build Day T-shirt design. Many thanks for those who participated in the t-shirt design competition – we had some creative ideas and it was tough to choose.  Congratulations to Mackenzie Manson for the extremely creative and literal “Be A Tool” image.  BRS-BeATool-TShirt-W2 Next update will share more about the official build day work plan.

Thanks for following.

BRS “Be A Tool” Volunteer Build Day!

brs-logo NRP-logoSaturday May 14th, 2016, Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture will host their first volunteer build day with Neighborhood Rehab Project’sBe A Tool” program. 

Based in Golden, CO, Neighborhood Rehab Project partners with local organizations to host a volunteer build days called “Be A Tool”.   This build day focuses on helping homeowners within communities address their warm, safe, dry household needs, through empowering volunteers and purchasing materials to meet those needs.  

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 Neighborhood Rehab Project cultivates partnerships that unify and support sustainable change within community.

This happens through facilitation from their parent organization Community Faith in Action and a partnership with the city of Golden. It is their vision to empower volunteers and homeowners to work together for the betterment of our community. This happens through service, skill development, and a strong focus on relational development. 

 Here’s a link to their website   http://www.neighborhoodrehabproject.org/

untitled6We are excited to have 30 volunteers on board and look forward to working with Neighborhood Rehab Project to support our local families in Golden, Colorado.

There is much planning yet to be done, stay tuned as we learn more about the families and scope of work.