Habitat for Humanity broadens its horizon in Harlingen

HARLINGEN — The Housing Finance Corporation granted $27,500 to Habitat for Humanity.

In a meeting held yesterday, the corporation granted a request for funds benefitting the organization.

Wayne Lowry, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of the Rio Grande Valley, originally asked for $50,000.

Director of Development Febe Zepeda said they hope to make up the remainder of the money through grants that they have applied for and through campaigns appealing to the community, like naming rights to certain rooms in the building and laid brick.

In July, the organization signed a contract buying land on Adams Avenue where Zarsky Lumber Yard used to be and the surrounding area to build a new Habitat Re-Store and construction yard.

The money Lowry asked for will be for repairs and modifications to the area including putting in a new floor, adding walls and new plumbing fixtures.

Harlingen already has a Habitat Re-Store on Oklahoma Street that works as a consignment shop and covers the operating costs for Habitat for Humanity.

The organization will relocate to the space on Adams Avenue and the original location will either be subleased or used as a construction staging area.

Lowery said they are looking to put down roots in Harlingen.

The addition of the construction yard will be the first of its kind and will help ease their efforts in building homes for families in the Valley.

Historically, Habitat for Humanity has always built the homes on site.

The construction yard will change that.

Volunteers will start working on pieces at the construction yard and then the pieces will be transported to the site of the home to be assembled.

“We are dealing with people who are not skilled labor but believe in volunteerism,” Lowry said. “This provides a more controlled environment where we can fine tune those details.”

As construction costs rise, Lowry said the construction yard is a way to cut down on costs and become more efficient in building homes.

Once the center is built, the organization will apply to add a tool library targeted to low-income families who do not have the funds to buy tools.

Residents in need of tools for home repair can go by, become educated on the use of the tools and rent whatever they need for their home project.

Zepeda said they hope to begin construction next month.

Habitat for Humanity will partner with the Chamber of Commerce to host a mixer on Aug. 31 at their new location.

Residents can enjoy refreshments and visit the site before they start construction.

If You Go

WHAT: Habitat ReStore-Harlingen Mixer

WHERE: 507 N.1st Street

WHEN: Aug. 31, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.