JOPLIN, Mo. — It’s the latest effort to create affordable housing for people without a lot of money to spare, and today is the grand opening.
“There isn’t housing in this area, there really isn’t. There were like 80 people on a list at one place that I was looking at and the guy said that nobody had moved in the two years that he had worked there,” said Valarie Gray, Daughter of Resident.
But Valarie didn’t give up. Her mom lost her last home to fire and needed a new home where she could heal during cancer treatment.
“It was really difficult to find a place and this was a blessing,” said Gray.
That’s the JUMP House project on East Central in Joplin. The tiny house version of a duplex has about 500 square feet on each side built with insulated concrete walls.
“Not only does it make it strong for tornadoes and storms, but it also lowers the utility bills. Again, something that when you are struggling, you know month to month to meet your needs. The lower you can keep your utilities, you know, that’s the second-highest cost besides rent,” said John Lunardini, Catholic Charities.
Rent is also capped at 30% of the resident’s income.
There are other features included, like a washer and dryer. Plus, they are made from concrete which makes them safe in a storm.
“We like to provide as many amenities as we can because again, going to the laundromat, you got to pay for the laundromat, you may buy the detergents at a more expensive price,” said Lunardini.
Catholic Charities is managing the project. It’s the first of what they hope will be many micro duplexes, an idea born out of the loss of housing in the 2011 Joplin tornado.
“A lot of it needed to be replaced but a lot of it was not replaced with housing that everybody can afford. And so, the need was there. And that’s where groups like the JUMP project came together so that we can meet those needs,” said Lunardini.