From HFHSA President & CEO, Natalie Griffith
The Excitement is Building! On April 2, over 60 volunteer builders and 200 spectators came together to celebrate the announcement of our newest community, Morning Star Terrace. City of San Antonio
staff and officials joined Habitat volunteers to build the first set of wall panels for an entire house! However, the real story for this exciting event is how it all came about.
This special project began with the growing concern of surrounding neighbors and our City government over a 2.5 acre site in District 5. Upset by the uselessness and blight of this property, the land contained deteriorated and abandoned commercial buildings. District 5
City Councilman David Medina, Jr. heard the complaints, and despite hitting dead end after dead end, never gave up on his search for a lasting solution.
Councilman Medina matched up Habitat’s need for affordable land with his desire to resolve this neighborhood nuisance. He envisioned replacing the run down and blighted property with decent homes for hardworking families. Without the care and concern of Councilman David Medina, Jr., the impending transformation of this property would not be possible.
I also want to thank Mayor Castro and the entire City Council
who voted unanimously to support this neighborhood revitalization effort. This development truly is a public-private partnership at its best! In addition to providing the infrastructure funding (with HOME funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD]), the City will be handling the environmental work, coordinating and managing the removal of the dilapidated buildings on the property. Once the infrastructure is in, businesses, churches, civic groups, and individuals in our community will come together through Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio
to fund and build 14, decent, affordable single family homes for God’s people in need.
Before we can build houses, we have to transform the site from what it is today, to cleared lots with functional residential infrastructure. This is quite an undertaking so I’d like to give special recognition to our Engineer, Rolando Briones, Jr., and the staff of Briones Engineering
. They do an outstanding job of determining the feasibility of a site, then designing, estimating, and overseeing its development.
Habitat is a high maintenance client because we have high demands regarding quality and timeliness. Our projects have to be comprehensively designed up front, meaning the infrastructure plans can be built as drawn, within budget, and without any change orders. Those in the construction industry know how hard this is to accomplish, so it is noteworthy that Briones Engineering does this repeatedly, while always keeping the end user, our wonderful families, in the forefront of its mind. To stay connected to our families and our mission, Rolando Briones and his staff are also active supporters and volunteers for our program.
14 deserving families will eventually call this community-in-the-making
home, joining the nearly 750 families that have already partnered with us in our organization’s 36-year history. Morning Star Terrace is another step in the right direction to our end goal of eliminating poverty housing in San Antonio. Councilman Medina has said, “Habitat will be able to help provide fourteen hardworking San Antonio families with a roof over their heads and a brighter tomorrow where none may have existed before.”
I invite you to be a part of this wonderful development by sponsoring our house building or participating as a volunteer. Further, our Family Services team has already begun taking applications for future home owners
, so if you or someone you know is interested in decent and affordable homeownership, please contact our office or visit our web page to apply