Impact Lufkin builds 2 new affordable houses on Sayers Street
LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - After seven years of planning and construction, the first efforts of Impact Lufkin’s affordable housing project on Sayers Street are complete.
Work was done in conjunction with grant funding and research from the Temple Foundation and Stephen F Austin’s appreciative inquiry of the communities in Wards 1 and 2. New houses now stand ready for use, with one owner already in place and a new family set to move into the second house next week.
“We want to be homeowners,” said Patricia McKenzie, the vice president of Impact Lufkin. “We don’t want to rent forever, but we can’t afford it, and so, a part of the appreciative inquiry is to partner with people in the community who also share the belief that revitalization of Wards 1 and 2 is crucial to the growth of Lufkin.”
The two houses sit at the edge of 145 acres of property that used to be a golf course. It is now land that Impact Lufkin hopes to develop into a neighborhood housing center complete with a grocery store. Board members like Roy Reyes said it will take time, but it shows the commitment of the organization to helping the community.
“A non-profit will really make a huge difference in Lufkin as far as housing as far as economic development and with this project of building affordable housing,” Reyes said.
McKenzie also stressed the impact that affordable housing has on the growth of children. She said that living in their own home teaches them life skills, like taking care of their own room. Being a part of a family setting outside of an apartment passes on the dream of homeownership to the next generation.
“They will learn what it means to be a part of a family in their home, and we know that that builds character. We know that that builds an interest in their future, and they’re not always talking about ‘Mama, Daddy, why can’t I have a bedroom?’ and some of these families will be able to say, ‘You’re going to have a bedroom.’”
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