Habitat For Humanity in Old North Saint Louis

Discuss renovations and new construction in North City -- defined by the area north of Delmar Avenue.
Habitat for humanity St. Louis is currently finishing construction on 17 new homes in the Old North Saint Louis Neighborhood. The first phase of 7 homes is completed and occupied, and the 10 remaining homes are receiving their finishing touches. The remaining houses will be occupied soon.

Rendering and site plan:



In addition to the 17 homes built this year, Habitat is planning another project for next year just to the south of North Market Street. Details are vague at this point, but I will post more info when it is available. The houses for next year will use the same general plans, but they are getting some design changes to give them a little different character than what was built this year.
Matt - do you have photos of the completed homes?
I am going to be taking some today, though it may take me a couple days to post them.
I actually just went to a sponsor happy hour last night for habitat. My company and I had helped work on one of the houses on Sullivan over the summer.

They said last night they just finished their 300th home since starting habitat in St. Louis about 25 years ago.

The houses themselves are very "green". I'm not so keen on the outside design, but they're all LEED certified which is great.
Funny, I'm not so keen on LEED certified, but care a lot about the outside design!
I thought that the exteriors were VERY interesting and appropriate, although you can reduce the impact of a lot of ugly with brick red materials.

But of course these are low end houses and so materials are limited. The botton line is that I just happened across them when driving thru Old NOrth in my annual trek to see wussup, and lo, there these houses were! They were not there last year! ha ha.

I do not care about LEEDS. Since we are taking a poll. :) I care about facades and streetscape.
I'm an engineer so you can see why I enjoy the functionality of the homes.

These aren't low end houses. They sell these to the families for around $130,000. Some more, some less. Its just the materials are all mostly donated. And the loans they get don't have any interest. They make the homes very affordable.
Habitat is nearing the completion of the design phase for the 2011 ONSL build. They have had a couple of meetings with the community to gather feedback, and the final designs will be displayed in the ONSLRG office as soon as they are completed.

Habitat will be adding two 2-story models for this year in addition to last year's models that have had some design tweaks. They are also going to add some color variety and possibly use brick on some of the homes. The build site has been narrowed down, and actual lots will be selected once the Phase II environmental work is completed. They are focusing on Monroe, 13th, and Clinton for 12-18 new homes.
The proposed build plans for 2011 just arrived and are sitting on my desk for me to look over. I'll post drawings as soon as I can.
^ I hope for more of the same - they have a good thing going!
I don't have digital copies yet, and the display boards are too big to scan, so I have pics of the boards for now.



If you would like to see the drawings in person, including the individual house plans that are not pictures here, come by the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group anytime and take a look.
Is there much historical precedent for single-story residential in Old North?
Perhaps in the Old North area, not as much. It was rather affluent. However, across the north side (and of course all over the city) yes.

I present the home of one Mr. Charles Edward Anderson Berry:
Not so much in the blocks surrounding the plans for this year, but one story homes do have precedent. There are a few in the immediate area, but there are quite a few in the north end of Old North and southern part of Hyde Park. One story homes are not out of place by any means, despite what some neighbors may think.
Construction on the 2011 Old North build is set to start in the next month or so. All of the approvals are in process or already completed. I can't wait to see houses on blocks that had been completely empty previously.
Looks like the first foundation excavation will start tomorrow. The excavator was dropped off this afternoon, and the surveyors have been busy.
I really love these homes. Why aren't we building these across other neighborhoods in STL? How about south of Manchester in FPSE?
^ These same models are now being built in JeffVanderLou (in different colors), so why not South City, too?
not to detract from what they're doing in Old North, but do Habitat and the LRA work together at all? is Habitat interested in rehabbing existing buildings in STL? do they already? apparently the Philly Housing Authority is reaching out to non-profits, including Habitat:

PHA initially approached HUD in 2007 about disposing of more than a third of its scattered sites. The request was unprecedented: No other housing authority in the nation owns as many free-standing properties as Philadelphia...

In an about-face noted by many groups in the city that develop affordable housing, PHA has put out the welcome mat, asking whether they could use any of the properties in the agency's vast inventory of vacant land...

PHA is still working out the details. Among those is a requirement for a "reverter provision," aimed at preventing speculators from buying and holding land, or trying to quickly "flip" properties for profit, Kelly said. In other words, "If you're doing the wrong thing, we can take back the property," he said...

Of its inventory of scattered sites, PHA has 5,700 houses - 4,000 of which are occupied - plus 1,600 vacant lots. Many were acquired during tough economic times in the 1960s and '70s. Properties whose owners were delinquent on taxes or that had been foreclosed on by banks were transferred or sold to PHA.

Many are more than 100 years old and costly to renovate - like the crumbling rowhouse in the 4200 block of Stiles Street in West Philadelphia that Habitat for Humanity would like to restore.

Habitat already has built nine houses on the street. If it could take control of two boarded-up PHA houses on the block, it could "tip the block in the right direction," said Jon Musselman, director of project planning for Habitat.


if it's not already, could something like this happen in STL?
Yes, Habitat and LRA work together, but only to the extent of acquiring vacant lots. Habitat only builds on vacant lots, and only on LRA lots. Habitat selects the lots they are interested in building on, do their due diligence on the properties, then go through the same process as other buyers. I have had a brief discussion with Habitat about renovations, and while they are interested in the idea, the St. Louis chapter is not currently set up to do that. That's not to say that they may not in the future. It's just a different funding, labor, design, and management process.