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[Photo: Elizabeth Bonner's new home]
Elizabeth Bonner's new home
picture contributed by Kentucky Housing Corporation

Elizabeth Bonner, a 73-year-old widow, decided to purchase a home in the spring of 2011. Little did she know the significance of the home she would eventually end up purchasing. She had been renting an apartment in the city of Vanceburg, but was not happy with the lack of privacy, not having any green space, and the steps she had to climb to get to the laundry room. "I wasn't born in town and I don't like living in town. I like the country and the feel of this place," said Bonner. "In town I had no privacy or freedom. This place is me... I love the country. I'm back home." Ms. Bonner's statements are poignantly true, as she is now on the gravel road that leads to her family's former homestead where she spent her first 18 years. Her father died when she was three years old and her mother raised Ms. Bonner and her siblings. Although she was concerned about taking on the responsibility of a mortgage for the first time at her age, she did not let it stop her. Ms. Bonner's new home is unique because it sets the standard for affordable, energy-efficient homes in Kentucky. The new home uses 75 percent less energy than a standard new home. For a senior citizen on a fixed income, the reduced utility bills will help make her home affordable through the rest of her lifetime and she will live very comfortably without cold drafts in the winter and stifling heat in the summer.

By using one of the highest standards of energy-efficient construction available (Passive House construction), as well as nearly air-tight construction, superior insulation, and triple-paned windows that provide passive solar heat in the winter, Ms. Bonner is sure to enjoy her home comfortably. The home also has eight solar panels on the roof that provides most of the needed electricity through a clean, renewable energy source.

Ms. Bonner was able to acquire her new home by utilizing various funding sources. Permanent financing for Ms. Bonner includes a $75,000 USDA Rural Development 502 Direct Loan for her first mortgage, as well as a $15,000 second mortgage, with a HOME-deferred loan to make her principal, interest, taxes, and insurance costs affordable.


Content Archived: February 18, 2014