Habitat for Humanity expands into Willacy County

RAYMONDVILLE — After nine years, Irma Dominguez has found a safe place to raise her two grandsons.

Yesterday, VTX1 joined Habitat for Humanity in turning over a new three-bedroom home to Dominguez.

“We are happy having the opportunity to have a brand-new home,” Dominguez, 57, said yesterday after a ceremony.

For nine years, she and her grandsons Aiden, 9, and Devin, 7, have lived in an old house in an unsafe neighborhood, she said.

“We don’t live in a very good neighborhood,” she said. “It’s not good for children. It’s not safe.”

Still, she was paying $600 a month in rent.

Now, her monthly mortgage payments will come out to $498 a month.

“I was renting and the inside of the house is not good,” she said. “Things don’t work. Toilets don’t normally work. In our new house, everything is new and better.”

For Habitat for Humanity of the Rio Grande Valley, the project to build Dominguez’s home marks the nonprofit’s first in Willacy County.

A committee of Raymondville residents selected Dominguez after interviewing prospective families.

The agency plans to build more homes in the area.

Wayne Lowry, the agency’s executive director, calls the project “a catalyst for our future.”

Willacy County’s high poverty rate sparked Habitat for Humanity’s decision to expand there, he said.

Dave Osborn, chief executive officer of VTX1, a broadband service provider offering Internet, television and telephone services, congratulated Dominguez as he handed her the keys to her new home.

Along with the company’s $50,000 donation, its employees contributed half of the home’s construction costs and even helped build the frame home at 833 Riggs Ave.

“Our employees are some of the best I have ever worked with” Osborn said. “They not only contributed to the construction of the home but through their caring and generosity, they raised fifty percent of the funds donated by the company. I’m extremely proud of them.”