Habitat for Humanity helps Brownsville family achieve dream of homeownershipdfwnewsa | November 7, 2023 | 0 | East Texas News , South Texas News
On a sunny morning last week in Southmost, a home at 2875 Narranjo St. showed early signs of being ready for occupancy as volunteers joined the home’s future owners to help push the big day forward.
Eleven volunteers from State Farm joined the Garcia family as the team did finishing work, caulking seams, spackling over nail holes and painting them on the sophet under the flashing below the roof line, among other tasks.
The Garcias volunteered because they’re required to contribute 300 hours of sweat equity to the project. Hours earlier they learned they had been chosen from among 33 applicants to become the home’s new owners.
The home is the first project since the pandemic by Habitat for Humanity Rio Grande Valley, the local affiliate of the international organization that helps aspiring homebuyers qualify for the financing to realize their dreams of homeownership.
Garcia said he learned about the Habitat for Humanity program through a co-worker.
“That same day we went and applied,” his wife said. “With other opportunities we would have had to wait years when now is when we are raising our family.”
The family of four is living in a small trailer less than five minutes from their new home. They have a girl, 4 and a boy, 2.
“Llegamos y es un sueno que tenemos. Es algo incredible,” she says, meaning that ever since they got to Brownsville they’ve dreamed of owning their own home.
“Estamos aqui hechandole ganas,” she says, meaning they’re here and ready to work.
Habitat for Humanity owns several properties throughout the Valley.
“We have sponsors and as we get funding in we’re able to start preparing to build on one of those properties,” said Tisha Watts, director of communications and development at Habitat for Humanity Rio Grande Valley.
“This is the latest one. The next one will probably be in Weslaco. We broke ground three months ago,” she said.
Mariano “Bean” Ayala, Habitat for Humanity executive director, said Blue Steel Construction Co. is Habitat’s construction company. The nonprofit serves Cameron, Hidalgo, Willacy and Starr counties.
“Jose Ayala our construction manager. We put out bids,” he said.
“Once we receive qualified families, let’s say we have 20 or 30 families that are applying. We have a selection committee that’s made up of business people from throughout the Valley. They will review the applications and from there they will make a selection,” Ayala said for an earlier story about the groundbreaking.
The home has 1,178 square feet of space, a living room, kitchen, three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
State Farm is among the sponsors listed on an announcement in front of the home. It donated $20,000 to the project, Watts said. Others include the Raul Tijerina Foundation, Unity Church of Brownsville, Wells Fargo and H-E-B.
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