Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County is planning its first townhome development for Georgetown.
The raw property for the eight to 12 planned units was purchased in February. Habitat is working with its architect and the city to figure out exactly how many units will fit in the space at 502 W. 21st St., Georgetown, and official design is anticipated to begin in December or January, Executive Director Debbie Hoffman said.
“We want to utilize the property to help as many families as possible,” Hoffman said. “That’s why we’re not automatically going to build single-family homes that we already have house plans for.”
Land prices in the area are high, which results in high taxes and insurance, which could price a family out of their own home, Hoffman said.
“We’re trying to make sure the families can own the homes long-term, not just for a few years,” she said of the new project. “We build homes in an affordable way, but every year, there is an appraisal for taxes on each home that exists, and that’s what is really challenging our families that already own Habitat homes or any home. The valuations are increasing.”
The hope is that the multifamily approach will help with this issue, Hoffman said, adding that the property itself will be paid off in July, thanks to donors.
This is Habitat’s largest affordable housing project in recent times, according to Hoffman. A six-lot development was completed in town off Morrow Street in 2018, and a 20-lot development was built in 2011.
The 21st Street project’s first home build event is planned for 2021. Typically, volunteers from the community aid in the builds, but right now, construction sites are limited to five volunteers at a time to maintain safe social distancing during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re about a year away from even starting with volunteer activities, so we’ll see where we are then on group sizes and what that looks like,” Hoffman said. “As we move through time, we know it will change.”