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Downtown Welch chosen for construction of affordable housing for teachers and other professionals

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For teachers in McDowell County, finding affordable housing just got a little easier.

On Dec. 17, The Reconnecting McDowell board of directors approved plans to purchase property in downtown Welch to begin building affordable housing for teachers and other professionals.

Presenting the board with a few options for a Teacher Village in downtown Welch was Community Housing Partners, the architecture firm that is designing the housing. The board chose a purchase option on the property of the Best Furniture and Katzen buildings. In the next several weeks, it will be decided whether to renovate the existing buildings or start from scratch with a new building.

Approximately 30 apartment-style units will be included in the housing. Also included will be group areas and community amenities such as a coffee shop on street level available for the general public. According to a Reconnecting McDowell press release, the board also agreed to explore the validity of other housing options through McDowell County.

During the meeting, the treasury report was given, as well as brainstorming ways to spread the word in the community about the progress made while making the information understandable to the everyday "layman."