What does affordable housing mean to you?

“We wouldn't want to live any place else”

by Sam and Carol Davis

We bought the house in 1970 and have lived here since then. We were both born in West Virginia and loved it here. This is where our roots are. We moved out of state a couple of times in the early years of our marriage, mainly because of the job situation in West Virginia, but when the opportunity arose, we moved back. It’s been a struggle at times, but we wouldn’t want to live any place else.

Sam and Carol Davis

We heard about a repair program through a family member. Although we had tried to keep our home in good condition, always doing the work ourselves, there were some things that we couldn’t afford to do. We had a wood stove and had always cut all of our wood for the winter. As we aged, it was getting harder and harder to do. Our house is probably over 100 years old. The house has a very strong and sturdy foundation, but very little insulation and no storm windows.

We filed an application with the Southern Appalachian Labor School and found that we were eligible for help through the senior weatherization program and also home improvement. We were hoping to qualify for central heating and possibly vinyl siding (we had wood siding and had been painting it by hand when needed).We not only got a new heating system and siding, we also got new windows and insulation. We also put in a wonderful sidewalk at the back of the house that is the whole length of the house. We love it very much!

I feel we have made lifetime friends through the program. We have corresponded with some of the ones from other states.

We thoroughly enjoyed all of the worker’s hard work and appreciated the workers that made our home more comfortable and easier to maintain. We are enjoying not having to cut wood all summer to be able to keep warm in the winter. Our home is affordable thanks to the insulation and new windows. It is much more energy efficient and convenient.

With the wonderful sidewalk, we can bring our groceries in the back door and not have to carry them up 31 steps at the front of our house.

I feel we have made lifetime friends through the program. We have corresponded with some of the ones from other states.


I love to cook and I was able to make lunch for the workers and enjoyed baking and cooking for them. They were so appreciative, respectful and kind. We even had a little birthday party for one of them who came from out of state and couldn’t be with his family for his birthday.

All of this enriched our lives and I hope we made a lasting impression on some of them.

I especially want to thank Vickie Smith and Barbara Painter for being instrumental in the process.

Southern Appalachian Labor School (SALS): is a West Virginia nonprofit that provides education, research, and linkages for working class and disenfranchised peoples in order to promote understanding, empowerment, and change. SALS is committed to developing a real comprehension of the social, economic, and legal structures which affect the lives of the Appalachian people.