Despite economic and operational challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Habitat for Humanity of Denton County successfully launched its “Habitat Village” this year and will host a virtual community meeting to offer a space for neighbors and community members to ask questions and make comments regarding this new development in the city of Denton.

The meeting will occur via Zoom at 6 p.m. Dec. 17. Habitat for Humanity of Denton County will develop its Habitat Village in Southeast Denton on the vacant 8-acre property between Duncan and Hill Streets. The development will create 35 new affordable homes in one neighborhood. Habitat Denton bought this land in 2015 and has been waiting for the right time to launch the Habitat Village.

As lot prices and building costs have continued to climb in the city of Denton, Habitat has decided that now is the best time to move this project forward.

“Habitat Denton used to buy lots for $5-$15 thousand back in the early 2000s when I started volunteering,” said Jerry Morgan, long-time volunteer and Build Committee member of Habitat for Humanity of Denton County. “Existing lots now cost Habitat $60-$80 thousand, so it has become increasingly difficult to build affordable homes on that expensive of a lot. Lot prices in Denton will continue to go up and up, so having the Habitat Village developed will give us several years of building homes without buying those expensive lots.”

The community meeting is one of the first steps in getting this project approved with the city of Denton. The design of the Habitat Village will require installing streets, sidewalks, utilities and the proper drainage requirements to support 35 homes.

This process will require the approval of a “Planned Development” plan by the city of Denton’s Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. Habitat has put together a full package of plans, drawings, and even a sampling of house designs and elevations to submit to the city of Denton.

The goal is to have this project approved by the end of February 2021. Once approved, Habitat for Humanity of Denton County will embark on a fundraising capital campaign to raise the $1.9 million required to do all the site preparation and install the utilities and infrastructure.

“My time has been spent in the early planning, design, estimating and coordination with the City of Denton to ensure the Habitat Village meets city standards, enhances the surrounding neighborhood and makes it economically possible to provide homes for the hard working families of Denton,” said Brian Strohl, Board member of Habitat for Humanity of Denton County. “Denton is at a real crossroads. The price of homes and apartment rents in Denton County continues to outpace wages. This means families are forced to forgo other necessities just to put a roof over their heads. Habitat for Humanity provides an opportunity for a family already paying rent in a very often sub-standard home, to afford a new home in a responsible way. In other words, they can have money at the end of the month for food, medicine and school. The entire community wins when families can make a living, provide for housing and other necessities.”

The community meeting is open to the public. The Zoom Meeting ID is 930 7939 0375, and the passcode is 365701. The direct link to join the Zoom meeting is: https://zoom.us/j/93079390375?pwd=NlpLb0V1S052Y3JJM1QzcnZnUWl3UT09.

To learn more about the Habitat Village, visit: habitatdentoncounty.org/habitat-village/.

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