Kent Attainable Housing establishes fund in memory of co-founder Ed Minch

Ed Minch, co-founder of Kent Attainable Housing, collapsed Tuesday while working on the site of the nonprofit’s home in Worton. He is pictured here in front of KAH’s first home, the Garnet House, on College Avenue in Chestertown.

CHESTERTOWN — Ed Minch, co-founder and vice president of construction of Kent Attainable Housing’s board, died Tuesday, July 27, according to a news release from the KAH board of directors.

“From the beginning, Ed was integral to our mission of creating and expanding opportunities for affordable homeownership in Kent County, Maryland,” according to the July 29 news release.

When Minch collapsed at 24909 Lambs Meadow Road, “he was doing exactly what he wanted to be doing,” the news release states. He and three dedicated volunteers were spreading straw and burying silt fence on the site of Kent Attainable Housing’s second affordable house.

He was determined to leave the lot in “buildable shape” before his scheduled kidney donation later this week to his wife, according to the board.

A Kent Attainable Housing spokesperson said Minch and the nonprofit were a perfect match.

When Minch learned about the mission of Kent Attainable Housing, he volunteered to oversee the home construction program. He was eager to apply his considerable expertise gained from a 45-year career in energy-efficient home systems.

“He viewed his new position as Vice-President for Construction not as a title, but as a good excuse to put himself back to work building houses. And he knew the ‘backwards and forwards’ of house construction, according to the board.

Ed Minch and his brother Dave, an architect who provides designs for KAH’s houses, had built seven houses from the ground up, and Ed had been in and out of thousands of homes, advising builders, architects and HVAC contractors in the science of energy efficiency.

Ed and Dave Minch designed KAH’s first house, the Garnet House on College Avenue in Chestertown.

Ed Minch got the plans approved, lined up contractors and volunteers, and oversaw the delivery of the modular home. Not one to let anybody outwork him, he logged nearly 700 hours of volunteer service on that house alone.

Then he moved on to the next property on Lambs Meadow Road.

The board said in the news release, “As colleagues and friends of Ed’s, we also learned a lot about his pride in the remarkable accomplishments of his three daughters, his attention to every move taken by his three grandchildren, and, of course, his no-holds-barred devotion to dear Shelley.

“We knew of his mastery as a wood artisan, long tenure with the Sultana, service to the town’s Historic District Commission, wooing and cajoling of instructors for Washington College’s Academy for Lifelong Learning, perfectly average performance for the Bocce Botchers, and lifelong addiction to chocolate.

“To every one of these and other pursuits, he brought passion, joy, and intelligence — the same qualities that he brought to our organization, Kent Attainable Housing.”

What Minch did was design things and improve upon the ordinary.

“He made things special,” according to a spokesperson for the nonprofit.

In recognition of Minch’s foundational impact to the organization and his community, Kent Attainable Housing has established a fund in his name.

The Ed Minch Housing Equity Fund will provide subsidies and loans to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers in Kent County, Maryland to ensure that his impact lives on.

Donations can be made in Minch’s memory via Paypal and mailed to Kent Attainable Housing at P.O. Box 501, Chestertown, MD 21620. The family will be notified upon receipt of donations.

Kent Attainable Housing is a 501 ©(3) charitable organization and all donations are tax-deductible.

The non-profit makes it possible for families who cannot afford high rents to buy a home, build equity, and own an asset, taking their first steps out of poverty.

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