As I perused the paper last Sunday, I saw that the ad for a "free house" still is running. It is too early to call the owner and see if it still is available, but since it still is in the paper, I assume it is. I hope someone or some group steps up to move the house because, among so many reasons, in this age of going green it would be such a shame to see it end up in the landfill.
In order to claim this house, one would need a plot of land to put it on and a hunk of cash to pay for moving it. Who in town has a piece of land and the resources to make this happen? We all do!
The public school district owns land that could accommodate a house. What if they claimed the house and used it to attract and house new teachers for a year? This could help new teachers get on their feet and save money for a down payment on a house of their own.
The hospital owns land that could accommodate a house. The hospital could use it to house new staff, medical students, lower-income staff or it could become a Ronald McDonald house for families of hospital patients from out of town who need accommodations in town in order to be closer to their loved ones. My bother and his wife lived in a Ronald McDonald house for three months while their premature baby grew strong enough to go home, which was 100 miles away. Our family has a whole new respect for McDonald's.
The city could find a corner of land to accommodate a house. LIFT-UP of Routt County could use it as a short-term home to allow down-and-out families or individuals to get back on their feet.
Or how about one of many of the developers in town? Could one of you find a corner to accommodate the house? I bet the city would work with you to find a way to make it meet or partially meet your affordable housing requirements.
And how do we pay to move the house? We all pitch in. The city could waive fees. Contractors could contribute equipment and perhaps even a worker or two for a day. Are there leftover supplies from the many construction sites around town that could be contributed? My employer, Mountain Hardwear, will contribute 40 hours of paid time off for this sort of community effort. SmartWool offers the same to its employees. I'm qualified to clean up or paint, and I'd like to get involved.
Is it too late to make something happen?