Affordable Housing

South Church was approached by Habitat and Andover Community Trust  who offered to buy a parcel of land we owned in order to build permanently affordable housing units. On May 7th 2018, the congregation voted to move ahead with this project.

Volunteer: Join us for our next build day! Volunteers from South Church generally work at 8:30am on the second Saturday of the month. No experience is needed. Volunteers 16 and older are welcome. Those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Click here to sign-up!

Click here to contact Ellen Arvidson with questions or if you would like to sign up to volunteer.

ACT and Habitat collaborated on the build of 4 units (2 duplexes) or 6 units (3 duplexes) on land they purchased from South Church. This land, a 1.06 acre lot roughly opposite Elm St. Automotive, was given to South Church in 1938 by Mary Byers Smith. In support of both South Church’s and Mary Byers Smith’s long standing commitment to outreach and caring for neighbors, a small team gathered information to help the Congregation consider this request. It seemed fitting to advance her legacy with best use for this piece of land.

Before a congregational vote, there were 8+ open meetings to help explain the proposal and answer questions. We discussed both the great potential this had for church outreach, furthering our mission to create a more equitable and just society. as well as potential concerns. We shared the concerns to help all come to the vote with a balanced view.

The proposal passed and construction began in 2019. With the onset of Covid, all volunteer opportunities were shut down on the Lupine Road sites for several months. Work came quickly to a halt on both the Habitat duplexes and the Andover Community Trust (ACT) duplex. The use of volunteers for Habitat and the students from the Greater Lawrence Technical School (GLTS) for the ACT duplex were all put on hold. They were able to get some outside contractors in to get some work done, including the roofs, rough plumbing and electricity and, eventually, started to allow some of their regular volunteers back on site. Around the time that all six families for the complex were identified, the GLTS students were able to be back on site. In the fall of 2021, the first families moved in. The remaining families moved in 2022.