A house and land on Mygatt Road in the New Preston-Marble Dale section of Washington has been acquired by the Washington Community Housing Trust Inc. to add to the town's stock of affordable housing.

The trust's immediate plan is to renovate the existing property in order to offer it as a home for a qualified local family.

Plans are under consideration for how the balance of the 2.8-acre parcel could be additionally utilized for affordable housing purposes.

"We are thrilled to have been able to secure this property for the benefit of the people of Washington," said Paul Corner, president of the Washington Community Housing Trust.

"The charming existing house will make a wonderful home for a local family," he said. "And the situation of the property is ideal as it sits between two of our village centers."

The WCHT presently maintains 37 affordable apartments in three complexes which house moderate-income families and seniors.

The present initiative is the trust's first ownership project. It is modeled on the parcel program, which has been successful in neighboring Litchfield County communities.

The parcel program is one in which housing would be available to qualified Washington residents, through which a home could be purchased at a reduced price because the purchaser would acquire the structure but not the underlying land, in an arrangement known as a "ground lease," renewable after 99 years.

The trust would maintain ownership of the land.

The homeowner would be entitled to all the benefits of home ownership and would be free to sell the house and to realize a gain within carefully devised guidelines.

Certain local banks are willing to consider extending mortgages for this sort of ownership.

For more information, visit www.washingtonhousingtrust.org.