Hometown Highlight: Midland Habitat for Humanity
Affordable housing has always been a challenging issue in West Texas. And in 1991, a few friends decided to come together to form Midland’s Habitat for Humanity to help combat the issue with the goal of placing families in newly constructed homes. Habitat for Humanity in Midland currently serves Midland and Odessa and plans to expand building initiatives in Big Spring, Texas.
“Today, we have built 175 homes and have 11 under construction currently,” said Joey Hopkins, Executive Director of Midland Habitat for Humanity.
Typical home builds used to take 3-4 months to complete before the pandemic; however, with supply chain issues and lack of volunteers the homes have taken longer to build. In addition, it takes time to find the qualifying families to place in the homes through the organization’s competitive application process.
“Many people don’t understand that we are an actual mortgage company and issue our own 0% interest loans on our homes. To qualify for a Habitat mortgage, you must have a credit score of 550 or above and be willing to work 350 sweat equity hours where the new homeowner must invest their time to work on the construction of their home or one for another family, pay $1,250 towards a down payment and meet our income guidelines,” Hopkins said. “We’re currently limited by how many homes we can build in any given year and because of that we must pick applicants who are most qualified and exhibit the most need.”
Families are always welcome to reapply for a Habitat home as there is no number of times you can apply, and the staff is always willing to help applicants fix any issues to help them apply again in the future.
Habitat is committed to its community partners and volunteers who help make its mission possible such as its partnership with FirstCapital Bank of Texas (FCB). FCB donated land several years ago to Habitat for Humanity, now known as Capital Lane, which has helped supply 54 new homes, housing approximately 215 people.
“We are very lucky to have partners who understand our model and the value we provide the community and homeowners. Through those partnerships, we have been fortunate to receive several land donations. Those donations allow us to keep development costs lower and in turn, pass that savings onto homeowners,” said Hopkins. “FirstCapital Bank of Texas made at the time the largest land donation in our history that has allowed us to build a subdivision and increasing tax base over $9,000,000 and most importantly helping us change lives through homeownership.”
Recently, the FCB Team participated in one of Habitat’s projects funded through their Bankers Build Project where a group of local banks split the costs of a house, and each donate a day of construction spent at the worksite.
“Habitat raises money for the construction costs of our homes, and we have many partners who build with us every year. To increase our production, we must have increased donations to build more homes and this project was created to help fill that gap. This is our first year trying this project and we are very pleased with the progress,” said Hopkins.
FCB team members gathered to volunteer for the day to start on the new house built off Capital Lane.
“We’re so thankful they helped, especially that day because it was very cold, the wind chill that morning was 9 degrees, but the FCB team was still there early and stayed all day and they all helped tremendously,” said Hopkins. “We expect the house to be completed in the next 3-6 months! We appreciate the incredible support of FCB over the years.”
To support Midland’s Habitat for Humanity, you can volunteer to help keep their programs going by assisting with home builds for families in need. Please visit their website here for more information on how you can volunteer or donate.