Montgomery County officials are offering Habitat for Humanity a slice of land for just $1 in their efforts to create more affordable housing.
Rick Nelson, director of the county's Department of Housing and Community Affairs, said his department is in talks to sell a 1.25-acre parcel of property in Gaithersburg to the home-building nonprofit to build four low-cost units to be sold at about $225,000 each.
Though the deal is not official yet, the agency is selling the land for just $1 to ensure that costs incurred by the organization will be low and put more of Habitat for Humanity's money toward actual construction.
"[The area] seemed to fit Habitat for Humanity, and they came to the county and asked if it was possible," Nelson said.
The sale would be contingent on whether the organization could demonstrate to housing officials that it had all the required development approvals and funding necessary to complete the project. Both Nelson and Habitat for Humanity Montgomery County Executive Director John Paukstis said they were confident the project would go through.
The four units would be sold for about $225,000 each to households that make about $58,000 a year. The median household income in Montgomery County is about $95,000, and average home costs total $469,900, according to census data.
Each unit would be about 1,200 square feet and would be accessible to people with disabilities, Paukstis said.
"We hope to serve some veterans, but we don't know yet," he said. "It's too early to say."
The property is owned by the county, left over after the Midcounty Highway was constructed in 1985. The parcel was identified by the county as a potential place for low-income housing and in 2005 was transferred to the housing agency to be sold for affordable housing.
Paukstis said if the deal goes through, the organization could be building the homes as early as fall 2014.