Low Impact, Inspiring and Cost Effective

"Age, size, and resulting affordability currently exclude working families and individuals from the housing market. We want to change that."

One of the greatest struggles for many in our communities is to find affordable, inspiring shelter. Much of the housing in our towns and rural communities is old and inefficient and new construction is often geared toward larger homes. Strides have been made in energy efficiency, but the sheer size of many homes and the energy that is consumed in their construction, will continue to exclude working families and individuals from the housing market. 

Recent developments in green building technology utilizing local timber, clay, stone, and agricultural waste products like straw, have shown that beautiful, highly livable and ultra-efficient housing can be affordable and have a much lower impact on the environment both in their construction and operation. These techniques are not only affordable but are accessible to the ambitious owner builder with some training and experience. Ongoing training in green building skills can both help to create a new generation of low impact shelter, and a new generation of builder/teachers. Intentional Communities and Co-Housing Projects have also demonstrated efficiencies in creating affordable shelter by sharing costs of essential systems, with added benefits of localized food and energy production and other benefits of close community.


Our Shelter Working Group partnered with Maine Passive House to offer She Built This, a carpentry workshop for women, in the fall of 2020. To be more inclusive, the workshop series has been renamed We Built This - 2021 workshops are happening now!

With the rise of food insecurity and demand on the emergency food system in the Western Foothills during the global pandemic, the Shelter Working Group partnered with the Food Working Group to build a Little Free Pantry.

Inspired by the Little Free Library movement, this Little Free Pantry is located on the information kiosk in Longley Square in Norway. The pantry is stocked with non-perishable goods and dry goods during freezing months, open to anyone at any time. Donations are always welcome!