- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

UPTON, Ky. (AP) - In a month, Joann Priddy may be moving into a new home.

Priddy lived in a small house near Upton and the Hart County line for more than 30 years on family property, caring for herself and her sister in conditions many would consider not suitable for living. Her aged home - a small wooden shack - lacked plumbing and stability.

She initially applied for a Habitat For Humanity Home Repair project because she wanted something all houses built today have: a bathroom. Priddy, who is in her mid-50s, had an outhouse and got water from a well behind her home. Her house was heated with what resembled a potbelly stove. She also warmed water and meals that way. She washed her clothes by hand and dried them outside on a clothesline.

To qualify for a home repair project through Habitat, household income must be below 60 percent of the area’s median income.

After seeing the condition of the home, Hardin County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Scott Turner said they decided to replace it because the repair project simply would not be worth it and because Priddy owned the land.

“The guys came down and it was basically a three-room home that her dad had built,” he said. “It had a tin roof on it and the walls - you could literally move the walls - and the floor was sinking in. She had basically a bedroom, a combo living room and kitchen and that was it.”

While Habitat completes the home, Priddy is living with her brother, Murl, in Hardin County.

Priddy’s home will be unique to Hardin County because it will be the first one made from a shipping container. The container home is a trial-and-error project for Habitat, Turner said, because the concept of taking a container and making it into a home is new. The container home is also a prototype for Kentucky Habitat for Humanity.

“There’s no telling where this (container) has been in the past,” Turner said. “More than likely it’s been to China, Japan or some country before it got back to Upton, Kentucky.”

Priddy’s new home will contain a bedroom and living space, kitchen area, a bathroom and washer and dryer unit.

The home meets all codes for the county and is equipped with plumbing and electric wiring. This was completed at a worksite in Elizabethtown before the home was placed on its permanent location on Priddy’s land. Her former home was demolished.

Habitat makes sure homes are safe, liveable and more energy efficient. The container home’s attic space will have R50 insulation to be more energy efficient and save Priddy money on utility costs. The crawl space also will be the same temperature as the rest of the house as floor vents in the home will pull and circulate air through the crawl space and back up.

After finishing the foam insulation, drywall, painting, flooring and installing appliances, all that remains is final inspection. Priddy then will be able to move in.

Although some would argue the house resembles a mobile home, it is much sturdier, Turner said.

“It’s going to be here for a long time,” he said. “It’s sealed up and it’s going to be air- and water-tight.”

The total cost will be about $35,000, he said.

The biggest expense has been installing the septic system, Turner said, which covers one third of the price of the project.

Turner said Hardin County Habitat could potentially make another container home if a person or family qualifies for a Habitat home, but they likely won’t do it again for a Habitat Home Repair project.

Turner said they hope the home is finished in three or four weeks.


Information from: The News-Enterprise, https://www.thenewsenterprise.com

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