Milestone house construction begins
North Collin County Habitat for Humanity starts 100th home in Celina
Habitat for Humanity volunteers began construction on their 100th north Collin County home this week. This is the first Habitat home built in Celina since 2009. The lucky recipient is local preschool teacher Lisa Camacho. She is a single mother of three boys, the youngest of which just started kindergarten. The three boys, ages 12, 9, and 5, were still sharing one room. Camacho knew her family was quickly outgrowing its home. However, she was unable to find a house in the area that she could afford. That’s when she turned to Habitat for Humanity.
“There is always a waiting list for housing.” said Celeste Cox of North Collin Habitat for Humanity. “We have to evaluate the applicants, and choose a family that best meets our requirements.”
In order to be considered for a home, an applicant must currently be living in substandard housing, and have an income that falls within certain minimums and maximums. They must also complete a designated number of “sweat equity hours.” This means that the person receiving the home has to help build the house and/or contribute to other Habitat projects.
In addition to teaching and being a mom, Camacho is going to college at night. She is working towards a medical office certificate and associates degree in business. During her free time, she continues to work on her sweat equity hours. Camacho’s future plans include working towards a better paying job and continuing her education.
In order to mark this special occasion, there will be a wall raising ceremony on Tuesday September 15th at 6:30. The public is invited to attend the event where they can meet their new neighbor. The house has been named the Purple House since the color purple is traditionally associated with the number 100. It is located at 409 East Oak Street. There will also be a framing ceremony on Saturday September 19th at the same address.
Habitat for Humanity relies on the contributions of many donors to do its work. The Purple House was made possible thanks to the support of numerous local organizations. They include Denbury, American Legend Homes, K. Hovnanian, Intuit, Step-up Realty, Rex Real Estate, Leigh Glendenning Real Estate, 1st United Methodist Church of Celina, and Grace Avenue United Methodist Church. Habitat is still seeking additional donors to fund the final phases of the Purple House.
Some people may be surprised to learn that there is a need for Habitat for Humanity in Collin County. With all of the new construction going on, it would seem that housing is readily available. However, most of the homes being built are targeted for people with higher incomes. People who can’t afford expensive homes are often priced out of the market.
“The need for housing is always greater than what we can build,” said Cox.
Despite the tough circumstances she sees every day, Cox says that working for Habitat is a rewarding experience.
“The best part is building a relationship with the families. We get to see them from the very beginning, and remain in touch even after the homes are built. In some cases, we have even gotten to know second generation family members who are living in the same house.”
As for Camacho, she says that her sons are all excited about the new house. They love playing sports, and look forward to having more room to play.