Habitat breaks ground on three homes

by Katy Walterscheidt | Jul 10, 2014

Roxanna Pena (left shovel) breaks ground on her new Habitat home along with Kevin Burke, INVISTA Victoria site manager; Josh Zeller, GCHFH board director; and Casey Burdge Staudt, klean corp international CEO-IT. Pena’s home is one of three Habitat families who broke ground on Tuesday.

Fourteen children and four adults will have new places to call home when their houses are built by the end of the year.

Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity broke ground on three houses Tuesday, two in Victoria and one in Goliad. This was the largest groundbreaking in the affiliate’s 20 year history.

“We are excited and honored to partner with these three families to provide a safe, decent, affordable home for them,” GCHFH Executive Director Cynthia Staley said. “We appreciate our house sponsors and all the volunteers who will build these homes over the next several months.”

House #83 in Goliad is the second house in Goliad County since GCHFH expanded its service area in 2012. The house is sponsored by Thrivent Financial, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Ander, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Astron Club, Goliad community members and Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs.

Janice Seiler, Thrivent Builds chapter specialist for the Greater Victoria Chapter of Thrivent Financial, said the chapter members enjoy the opportunity to help build affordable homes for their neighbors. 

“When we help the local family build their home, we are changing their lives for the better and ours too by getting to know them on a personal level,” she said. “But it is more than just helping this particular family. Putting a new home in the neighborhood helps revitalize the area as well.”

House #84 in Victoria is sponsored by the GCHFH ReStore, a private donor and TDHCA. House #85 in Victoria is sponsored by INVISTA, klean corp international and TDHCA.

“INVISTA’s community investments come in a variety of forms,” said Amy Hodges, INVISTA’s regional public affairs manager. “We are pleased to help advance Habitat’s mission of helping families achieve the American dream of home ownership; as well as having a positive impact on area families.”

Casey Burdge Staudt, CEO-IT of kci, said they are excited to have another opportunity to partner with Habitat and INVISTA. The two companies last partnered on a Habitat house in 2012.

“It is important to our kci team to not only give our treasure, but give our time and our talent, because our faith requires work from each and every one of us,” she said. “The Habitat families and our experiences working with them truly touch our lives.”

Eligibility to be considered as a Habitat family partner depends on three factors — the applicant’s need, ability to pay and willingness to partner with Habitat.

Habitat homes are sold to the partner families using a 0 percent, 30-year mortgage. To qualify, homeowners must earn 35-50 percent of the median income; have lived in Victoria, Lavaca, Jackson, or Goliad counties for the past 12 months; have a demonstrated need for housing; and agree to work 300 hours per adult who will reside in the completed home on their home or other Habitat projects.

Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, International, is a nonprofit ecumenical ministry that helps build simple, decent, affordable homes for people in need. It serves Victoria, Lavaca, Jackson, and Goliad counties. The Habitat affiliate was founded in 1994 and completed its first home in 1996. In the past 20 years, Habitat has built 82 homes that provide a roof over the heads of more than 300 people. For more information, visit www.goldencrescenthabitat.org.