Free rent in exchange for much-needed repairs.
That was the pact the Horsham Township Council unanimously accepted during its meeting Wednesday night. The governing body adopted an ordinance establishing a 15-year lease agreement for the Anderson house, which sits adjacent to the 102-acre Cedar Hill Road Park.
Under the ordinance, the dilapidated home's inhabitants, the Holland family, would carry out improvements to the premises in exchange for a rent-free residence. If the family does not comply, the township could collect $1,000 per month in rent, Horsham Township Manager Bill Walker said.
Walker said the agreement is similar to the one in place for the township-owned Penrose-Strawbridge home, which the Horsham Preservation and Historical Association leases from the township on the condition that the nonprofit group will maintain the structure. That residence, like the Anderson house, is occupied by tenants – Peter and Margaret Choate – who are responsible for its upkeep.
The township purchased the Anderson house in 1994 with the intention of tearing down the dilapidated dwelling, Walker said previously. The idea, he said, was to expand upon the township-owned land, particularly since the home abuts Cedar Hill Road Park.