Tenants to Homeowners to hold open house for solar-powered small home; project is first to use city’s density bonus | News, Sports, Jobs

A flyer provides information about an open house on Friday, June 18, 2021, for Tenants to Homeowners Solar Prairie project.

The nonprofit organization Tenants to Homeowners will soon unveil its first affordable home that uses solar power. Additionally, it’s the first small home to take advantage of the city’s affordable housing density bonus.

An open house for the project, Solar Prairie, will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at 1443 Prairie Ave. The two-bedroom, 925-square-foot home is Tenants to Homeowners’ third small home, and the second small home built on the lot, making it the first project to use the city’s density bonus. The Lawrence City Commission voted in 2019 to approve the density bonus, which allows two homes to be built on lots of a certain size as long as both homes remain permanently affordable.

Like other Tenants to Homeowners projects, the solar-powered small home will be sold at an affordable price to a qualifying owner and remain in a permanently affordable community land trust into the future. Rebecca Buford, executive director for Tenants to Homeowners, said the house costs $195,000 and will be sold for $120,000. The home is energy efficient and the first affordable housing project to be built with solar panels, thanks in part to an Elizabeth Schultz Environmental Fund grant through the Douglas County Community Foundation.