Austin Habitat for Humanity helps residents build new homes

Austin Habitat for Humanity has begun construction of new homes in the Scenic Point neighborhood.

AUSTIN, Texas — Affordability is a huge problem throughout central Texas, but a group is trying to solve it by providing Austin residents with housing.

New data shows Austin has the fifth-highest rent in the country, up almost 90% year over year. Austin Habitat for Humanity tries to make Austin affordable by building and repairing homes for low-income people who need help.

Each week, members of the organization put on their hard hats and literally work on more affordable homes.

“We’re at it again,” says Rob Evans. “Season three, or at least house three, of the habitat that was built here at the scenic point. We just wrapped up these houses and now it’s time to start another one. So let’s go down here. As you can see, some of the walls are already up. So they move very fast.”

Projects like the one at Scenic Point are part of AHFH’s housing program. They are currently building a 67 home neighborhood in the Scenic Point area and a 23 home neighborhood in the Loyola Lane area. local residents can use owning any of the houses if they meet all the requirements of the project, namely:

  • Must be a US citizen or have legal permanent resident status
  • Ability to pay a mortgage
  • Must invest 200 hours of “Welding Capital” to help build houses
  • Have a credit score of 620 or higher
  • Must have lived and worked in the service area for the last 6 months
  • Must be a first-time homebuyer

“On three! One, two, three,” a photographer captures the before image of this group of volunteers.

“Is it square, sir?” Evans jokes with a volunteer checking a measurement.

“Almost there,” laughed the volunteer.

Another volunteer uses a frame gun to connect a beam that will become the back porch.

“Wow,” Evans said, “You’re good! Have you done that before?”

“Yes,” she said with a smile.

When the volunteers stopped for lunch, we checked the progress.

“We set up that part of the backup,” Evans explained. “Some temporary tension but nice downtown views. Look at it. And now we’re working on some top panels. And then on to the front porch, but time to get some electrolytes.”

Austin Habitat for Humanity is always looking for volunteers, either groups or individuals. It’s a great corporate bonding experience to come out and learn skills, work together and give back to a family that will change forever. Here is a link if you are interested.

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Laura Coffey

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