Habitat expands to Jackson, Goliad counties

Jennifer Lee Preyss By Jennifer Lee Preyss

June 10, 2012 at 1:10 a.m.

A little sweat goes a long way.

At least it will in Jackson and Goliad counties, where Habitat for Humanity homeowners and volunteers will be putting in sweat equity to construct workforce housing this fall.

Cynthia Staley, Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity executive director, said Habitat has recently been approved to expand beyond Victoria and into the two counties. Last month, Edna volunteers held their first meeting.

"We're very excited about this expansion," Staley said, mentioning the organization's name change from Habitat for Humanity-Victoria to Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity. "There is a need for affordable housing in these counties."

With more than 50 volunteers already in the queue in both Goliad and Jackson, Staley said, the counties are hopeful to begin fundraising efforts to build homes ranging from $55,000 to $60,000 for two-, three- and four-bedroom homes.

Owners of the homes must invest financially as well as put in "sweat equity" hours to occupy the homes, Staley said.

"Habitat makes zero percent profit off these homes," Staley said. "Habitat's deal is always about a hand up, not a hand out."

Two lots in Jackson have been donated to Habitat to build about 11/2 homes by the end of the year as long as they maintain funding and volunteers.

In Goliad, where Habitat expects to pour the first slab, the organization will partner with the city, similar to the current relationship it has with Victoria.

Once Habitat becomes financially able, Staley said, the organization will be focused on hiring another employee to expand into surrounding areas.

Habitat already is seeking board members and volunteers in both Jackson and Goliad counties who share the passion and mission of the organization.

Staley said while Habitat continues to expand throughout the Crossroads, the people of Victoria will not lose any of their existing resources.

"We are going to be Golden Crescent-oriented. But we're never going to lose focus on Victoria because you always want to dance with the one who brought you," Staley said.



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