Habitat to build first Marble Falls house in over a decade

MARBLE FALLS — As cleanup continues at a debris-strewn lot in the 1200 block of Third Street, Habitat for Humanity officials say the property could see life as a new home for an eligible family. The residence will be the first Habitat project in Marble Falls in nearly 15 years, Habitat organizer Tom Cosgrove said.

Cleanup crews from the city and Allied Waste were at the property Friday, clearing piles of rubble that had been sitting on the land since last summer, according to neighbor Margery Higdon, who lives across Third Street from the lot.

Higdon said she’s watched as the lot was transformed from a dilapidated residence to a garbage pile.

“We’ve watched people with their wagons full of trash come and dump it there, because they thought it was a dump site,” she said.

Once the lot is cleared, Cosgrove said construction on a new home could begin in weeks.

“We have sought property in Marble Falls for a number of months with no success up to this point,” Cosgrove said Friday. “We actually have a small inventory of lots in Kingsland and Cottonwood Shores and Granite Shoals, but we have nothing in Marble Falls, which has always been an interest of mine. We really need some houses in Marble Falls.”

Habitat joined forces with City Hall several months ago to locate lots with condemned buildings where new housing could be built, he said.

The team-up paid its first dividend several months ago, after city Code Enforcement Officer Chris Pounds put Habitat officials in contact with a local family living in a dilapidated house on the property.

“Indeed (the house) needed help,” Pounds told The Daily Tribune. “The plumbing was in disrepair, the floor was gone. The house wasn’t (a habitable) home.”

Pounds said he tried to look for nonprofit groups to help the family repair the house, but eventually brought in Habitat officials.

After a few false starts — including would-be sales to other parties — Cosgrove said Habitat took possession of the lot earlier this year. By then, the house on the property, built in the early 1900s, had been demolished by its previous owners.

“By virtue of the assistance that we were fortunate to get from the city and from Allied Waste, the cleanup has begun on the property,” Cosgrove said.

Habitat will work with a partner family to build at least one house on the site, he added.

“The partner family has been waiting about 16 months,” he said. “Because of their employment situation, they didn’t desire to live in Cottonwood Shores or Kingsland. We really owe a debt of gratitude to the family for helping us to facilitate (the sale).”

The partner family will be responsible for helping build the house, and will make nominal payments on the home once they move in, according to Habitat guidelines. The building project will be Habitat’s first since last summer, when a new home was built for a family in Granite Shoals, Cosgrove said.

“Our volunteers are anxious to get started as soon as possible,” he said.

Connie Swinney contributed to this report.

chris@thepicayune.com

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