CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The little gray house sits alone beside the cul-de-sac at the far end of North Hills Drive. But assuming the Municipal Planning Commission gives its OK today, Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam will soon provide it with 23 neighbors.
Habitat Director Shawn Means will ask the commissioners to approve final plat plans for "Street B" of the North Hills Subdivision in North Charleston, which means the road is finished, sewers and other utility lines installed, and lots are ready for development.
A month ago, there was no house here, Means said. Habitat volunteers built it in four weeks in what he called a blitz build. "It was finished last Friday."
Habitat got special permission from city officials to build the home even before it had final plat plan approval from the planning commission, Means said.
An owner, who earned the right to live there through the traditional Habitat ritual of sweat equity -- helping build your own home -- is set to move in soon, Means said.
Like other Habitat homes -- Habitat built 15 of them already in North Hills -- this is no McMansion. But for someone with modest means (between 30 percent and 70 percent of the median income), who probably lived in an apartment or other rental property, it's a great improvement, Means said.
"Simple, decent, modest-sized homes," he said. "We like to make them livable, easy to clean." For many people, it's the only home they'll ever own, he said.
The gray house, with just over 1,000 square feet of floor space, might sell for around $90,000, he said.
Steps lead up to a small front porch, or deck, and the front door. Inside are a living room, kitchen, three bedrooms and one bathroom.
The back door off the kitchen opens up into the woods. "It's like being at Kanawha State Forest," Means said.