Notes from the Field: A House on the Move

Bruce Genereaux, project manager for COVER Home Repair, and Leslie Breakstone of CVCAC (Central Vermont Community Action Council) recently visited a property that was washed out during Tropical Storm Irene.

Although the house, which was built by a neighbor, is currently inhabitable, land it rests on is unstable and very vulnerable to continued erosion. For safety reasons, the owner cannot consider selling the land or the house as living space.  She is committed to an ethical and environmentally responsible outcome for the house. Grateful that she and her partner are working and have the resources to rebuild, she has decided to donate the entire house or any usable portions, to other people whose lives have been impacted by Irene

Moving the house would be quite a process, but by “cubing” the home into pieces that could be transported by road, it could be delivered to a suitable site in the COVER service area.  Volunteer labor could be used to help rebuild the home in a new location.  A large, well-funded group of volunteers, organized by faith-based groups, will be coming to Vermont in the spring and would be a potential partner in rebuilding the home. At the very least, there is great value in many of the house’s components, and COVER is also committed to ethical, environmentally responsible, community-based management of just these kinds of resources.