The Thalden’s say their hope is to provide accessible homeownership to not only fire victims, but to lower-income families, as well. A little over 6 acres of land near Jackson Creek Center in West Medford will soon be converted into a new housing community.
The project, dubbed New Spirit Village, is being run by the Ashland-based Thalden Foundation.
“We’re dealing with fire victims, these are fire-resistant houses,” said Barry and Kathryn Thalden.
The houses are being created in a unique way for sustainability by using computer-aided design and 3-D concrete printing.
The Thalden’s say the homes will range in size, with the largest homes having 3 bedrooms and the smallest having 1 bedroom.
“It’s run by a computer that lays out concrete and we can build the walls of the house in 24 hours, but we’re going to do it slowly in 3 days so that we have time to insert the electrical wiring and plumbing within the walls,” said Barry Thalden.
The Thalden’s are both former architects who say only a few homes in the United States have been created this way.
“We have 84 lots in the whole project, plus a community center, which will serve for social purposes and a daycare because this is going to be a close community,” he said.
They say they’re working closely with the United Way of Jackson County, Rogue Retreat, and other local non-profits to find potential homeowners for the community.
The Thalden’s say they are committed to keeping the housing affordable, they’re working with Proud Ground in Portland, a land trust, that has a process of guaranteeing the homes will stay low-cost, “We’re talking about houses that are priced anywhere from $140,000 to $230,000.”
They hope with monetary donations, the people who move in won’t have to put any money down and pay less than $1,200 a month on payments.
“What we’re building is a unique lifestyle change and we’re just hoping that our idea gets stolen all over the country and that politicians pick up on it in terms of the way they think about funding for affordable housing,” said Thalden.
The Thalden’s say construction is set to begin in the early summer. It’s expected to be complete by the end of 2023.
If you’re interested in learning more about the project, you can visit newspiritvillage.org.