4 numbers to know about today's Austin affordable housing 'Blitz Build'

Austin volunteers work on constructing homes Nov. 29 as part of the Blitz Build project from Austin Habitat for Humanity, the Austin Board of Realtors Foundation and HomeAway.

Austin volunteers work on constructing homes Nov. 29 as part of the Blitz Build project from Austin Habitat for Humanity, the Austin Board of Realtors Foundation and HomeAway.

Volunteers are assembling and raising framing for homes in Austin on Tuesday that will be constructed within three weeks as part of Austin Habitat for Humanity’s annual Blitz Build.

HomeAway and the Austin Board of Realtors Foundation fund the construction of the homes and provide all of the volunteer labor for the build, which is taking place in Southeast Austin in an already established Habitat neighborhood within the 78744 ZIP code. The need for affordable homes in Austin is more pressing than ever, according to Phyllis Snodgrass, CEO of AHFH.

"As we continue struggling to find land we can afford to purchase and build on, completing these two homes in the community is extremely important to us," she said.

Here are four numbers to know about the build:

  1. The two homes volunteers are building on Tuesday are part of a new 16-home AHFH community being constructed on Magin Meadow Drive, which is next to an existing community of 28 Habitat for Humanity homes on Thannas Way.

  2. At the end of the Blitz, Habitat will have built 16 homes in 2016 and 421 homes since 1985.

  3. Around 600 volunteers are expected on the three-week build, which adds up to about $13,842 in labor costs.

  4. The average home price in 78744 is $239,012, according to AHFH. The median family income for incoming Habitat homeowners is 40 percent of that, or about $31,120 for a family of four. The gap between affordable units and those in the 40 percent median family income range will reach 35,000 units by 2040, according to a recent Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Office study.


Maintaining a balance of accessible housing helps everyone in the community, said Valorie Doyle, board chair of the Austin Board of Realtors Foundation.

“Working with Habitat for Humanity on the Blitz Build allows the ABoR Foundation to help address the affordability issue one homeowner at a time. It benefits the entire community because, not only is the family getting a safe and secure home, they have put sweat equity into building their neighbors’ homes and their mortgage is paid back to Habitat to help future residents also achieve homeownership," she said in a statement.

For more information, including how to volunteer, visit www.austinhabitat.org.

 
By Kelli Weldon
Kelli joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter and has been covering Southwest Austin news since July 2012. She was promoted to editor of the Southwest Austin edition in April 2015. In addition to covering local businesses, neighborhood development, events, transportation and education, she is also the beat reporter covering the Travis County Commissioners Court.


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