To begin the project, the AVHA has set a current fundraising goal of $1.5 million dollars and has a generous donation to construct the very first tiny home if the initiative is successful. Join us on December 3rd, 2023 from 6pm- 9pm at Weatherborne Wine Corp.
Giving Thanks for Community
As we spend time and share meals with our family and friends this Thanksgiving, we’re inspired to reflect and give appreciation for the blessings in life. Those of us who live or work in Anderson Valley have much for which to be grateful. Having gratitude doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges, it just means also acknowledging and appreciating the community and support all around.
Living in Anderson Valley we have the good fortune to be surrounded by breathtaking beauty and the bounty of nature every day. Like many communities though, especially remote rural ones like Anderson Valley, meeting the demand for clean, safe, affordable housing has long been an issue. To help address this challenge the Anderson Valley Housing Association (AVHA) was founded in 1987.
The History of the Housing Association
Through grants, state programs, volunteer effort and the financial support of many, many community members the AVHA:
- Launched with the purchase and renovation of a former old folk’s home on Ray’s Road in Philo. Major wine industry philanthropists who helped fund this include the Wiley, Handley and the Pratt families.
- From 1987 to 2013 the Ray Road property continuously housed up to 16 unaccompanied male farm workers and one farm worker family.
- In 2013, in response to changing needs, one dormitory building was remodeled into another farm worker family house.
- The Boonville Apartments provide 12 apartments to low income families.
- The 2022 purchase of the Anderson Creek Apartments has 4 apartments and a cabin.
Through the years AVHA has continued to acquire and renovate properties that became available. At any one time more than 70 people are housed thanks to the efforts of the Anderson Valley Housing Association. Even so the need for affordable housing continues to outpace the supply.
As the wine industry has flourished in Anderson Valley, the demand for skilled labor has increased proportionately. Some wineries with the capacity and resources have built housing for their workers which helps significantly, but does not completely address the problem. The challenge of affordable housing is larger than just individual wineries supporting their workers, it means creating an inclusive and affordable environment that allows space for all people to live within the community where they work- including teachers, healthcare workers, hospitality as well as farm workers, to list just a few.
With an eye to proactively addressing the challenge of affordable housing, AVHA has begun a new initiative that would address the problem with what could be a more permanent solution. This new approach would facilitate the construction of tiny houses, allowing the AVHA to grow and adapt in a way that is nimble and responsive to changing circumstances and opportunities.
How Can Our Community Help?
To begin the project, the AVHA has set a current fundraising goal of $1.5 million dollars and has a generous donation to construct the very first tiny home if the initiative is successful. Join us on December 3rd, 2023 from 6pm- 9pm at Weatherborne Wine Corp. located in the I&E Lath Mill, in Philo to kick off the winter Anderson Valley Housing Association winter fundraiser and hear more about the tiny house project.
Farmer and philanthropist Brad Wiley has supported the AVHA since its formation. “The current capital campaign and its goal is critically important to the whole Valley’s future, whether to support vineyard employees or other lower income professionals like teachers and AVHC employees. The need for contributor support from AVVA community is critical to the success of the campaign.”
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much,” Helen Keller