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Habitat for Humanity stakes out sites for three new homes in Marble Falls

These three lots, located on the corner of Avenue M and Second Street, are the future sites of new Habitat for Humanity homes in Marble Falls. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

These three lots, located on the corner of Avenue M and Second Street, are the future sites of new Habitat for Humanity homes in Marble Falls. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

MARBLE FALLS — Highland Lakes Habitat for Humanity has staked out three new home sites on the corner of Avenue M and Second Street after a Marble Falls City Council zoning change cleared the way for construction.

The council approved changing the property from “limited industrial” to “mixed use” during its June 6 meeting.

The first home’s groundbreaking is projected for July. Habitat for Humanity officials are aiming to have all three homes built no later than 2019, though they are open to completing them more quickly, said Christine Keffeler, the local chapter’s director of public relations.

She added that one of the three new homeowners has already been approved. The board of directors identified two other potential families. Staff members are making sure those families meet the criteria required to own a Habitat for Humanity home.

“We have just now interviewed (those potential homeowners),” Keffeler said. “We’re waiting for credit checks and employment checks and criminal checks for the two families.”

Highland Lakes Habitat for Humanity built its 19th and 20th homes side by side on Avenue M and Third Street in 2015 during the local chapter’s 20th anniversary.

To qualify for a Habitat for Humanity home, families must apply, go through an interview process, and agree to volunteer 300 hours on a project. Half of the volunteer hours, called sweat equity, must be done on another family’s home.

Officials pointed out that Habitat for Humanity doesn’t give people homes. Qualified homeowners are responsible for making monthly payments. The financing is interest-free.

To keep the homes affordable, Habitat for Humanity relies on volunteers, along with the homeowners, to build the houses. Volunteers don’t need to have knowledge of homebuilding, simply a willingness to learn and work.

Other organizations, such as local Master Gardener groups and landscapers, donate materials and expertise for landscaping. Plumbers, electricians, and other building professionals also help.

The floor plans for the three new homes will be the same, Keffeler said, which will help keep costs down.

She said survey work and other tasks must be completed before a groundbreaking can happen.

“We’re very excited about this,” she said.

Go to hlhabitat.com to apply, learn about volunteer opportunities, or donate, or call (830) 693-0700.

jfierro@thepicayune.com