A Home for Aging in Place

HOLLAND – Rural Edge, formerly Gilman Housing Trust, is going out of its norm by building a two-family home off the beaten path. The new home will be at the intersection of Holland Pond and Page Pond roads. Traditionally, Rural Edge builds multifamily housing complexes in more urban areas.The Page Project consists of two living units with a shared common space. Each unit has one bedroom. A single person or a couple would be suited for the home. The contractor will finish construction at the end of May 2013. Rural Edge will rent the housing with priority given to senior citizens from Holland.“The Pages, who donated the land and money to build the house, asked for that,” explained Robin Drinkwater, Director of Real Estate Development for Rural Edge. It is not clear if the candidates have to currently live in Holland or just be from Holland. “The marketing plan hasn’t been fully established yet.”Page is delighted to donate the property to Rural Edge.“I hope it will go to some seniors who need some place to live,” said Page, who finds herself lucky to have a place to live. Page’s family is also pleased about the construction project. “It’s going to be known as Page Place.”Lee Cooper from Back to Basics Contractor is the person building the home. Rural Edge closed on the property with Evelyn Page on Aug. 24. The home will sit on 7.7 acres. For now, there is only enough funding for two units, but Rural Edge would consider building more if additional funding becomes available and the project is successful.Drinkwater explained that Page wants to leave a legacy to the Town of Holland and understands how it is important to find affordable housing in the community that is important to them.Rural Edge is using this project as a model to build future homes in local communities for seniors who can "age in place" in their towns. Prior to this, it’s been difficult for Rural Edge to find something that works well economically. Because private funds are paying for the project, Rural Edge had more flexibility on how it can construct the project. Besides the land, Page donated $350,000 to build the home.The home will be as close to energy efficient as possible.