Chelan Valley Housing Trust kicks off first project with house burning party


The Chelan Valley Housing Trust is throwing a more literal version of a housewarming party this weekend, making way for “S’more affordable homes.”

“This has been a community effort all the way,” said Rachael Goldie, housing trust administrator, “from believing in our mission, to raising the funds, to purchasing this first site, to partnering with every business and individual who helped make this happen. We’re grateful for all the support and want everyone to celebrate with our “S’more Affordable Homes!” burn party.

The Chelan community is invited to attend a house burning party this Saturday, November 16 on the corner of North Emerson Street and East Chelan Avenue.

The house burning is making way for the Emerson Village project, the Chelan Valley Housing Trust’s first project aimed at tacking the issue of affordable housing. With the help of Chelan Fire and Rescue, a controlled burn of the existing home will make way for the trust’s five townhome project.

The burn will offer live burn training scenarios for local firefighters beginning at 8 a.m., and at 3 p.m. is when the house is set to go down completely.

“Then around 3 p.m. we will literally burn the house down,” said Chelan Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Brandon Asher. “Our goal is to have it burned to the ground by the time it gets dark.”

The housing trust will have a safe viewing area with chairs and tables set up in the city parking lot directly across the home to help celebrate their first project. Coffee and refreshments will be available along with platters of mini marshmallows, chocolates and more, hence the “S’more affordable homes” play on words.

“We’re roasting the house instead of the marshmallows,” said Clint Campbell, vice president of the nonprofit housing trust. “The idea is when everyone brings their own passion, their own fire, to this issue of more affordable homes, then real change does indeed take place. We’re finding a way for people who work here to be able to live here.”

The .19-acre lot was purchased below market pricing for $200,000, with all the funding coming from local businesses, the city and private donors.

What will Emerson Village look like? Architectural drawings will be on display to show off the design and floorplans of the 1,179 square foot townhomes.

“S’more Affordable Homes in Chelan is not just a slogan,” says Goldie, “it’s a movement that will literally rise from the ashes on the corner of Emerson and Chelan when groundbreaking for Emerson Village begins in the spring.”

The project is set to break ground this spring, and will sell for $200,000 for those earning the Valley’s average median income of $52,000. Housing Trust board members say Emerson Village is the first step in addressing affordable housing needs in the Chelan Valley, and are working to organize more housing projects.

“While this is a milestone for the housing trust, it’s just the first step,” emphasizes Tim Hollingsworth, housing trust president. “We’re in negotiations right now for other parcels of land. And we can’t thank the community enough for the way everyone has embraced our mission.”

To donate money or land, or to inquire about home ownership at Emerson Village, visit or email