Big Idea Helps A Small Texas Town

Monday, May 10, 2004

What do you get when a city, a state, a private developer, a Section 8 agency and the federal government team up? In Woodville, Texas, it adds up to a new opportunity for homeownership.

[Photo 1: Ribbon-cutting ceremony]
The public and private partnership required a number of participants to help keep building costs down

In 2001, a plan to provide more affordable housing to the town of 2,500 residents began to take shape. Construction costs are often prohibitive in small towns and rural areas because when a builder hauls materials and obtains manpower from a major population center, costs skyrocket.

Woodville overcame this dilemma with the help of Nova Management whose owner, Jane Grubbs Blevins, had an idea to bring new housing to the area. By partnering with the State of Texas and Nova Management, the City obtained a $400,000 housing infrastructure grant in state CDBG funds from the Office of Rural Community Affairs.

Those monies provided funding for infrastructure, water, sewer and streets for the single-family housing development. By reducing infrastructure cost, construction becomes more affordable. Add to that matching funds from the City of Woodville and the investment of Nova Management, and project funds totaled some $1.4 million.

[Photo 2: Frame work in progress]
At least eight of the 16 new houses will go to low- to moderate-income families. The homes will have brick veneer and hardiplank exteriors, pitched roofs, elegant entryways and porches, and will range in price from $79,000 to $129,000

Blevins also involved the Deep East Texas Council of Governments, the area's Section 8 agency, thus providing a pool of potential low- to moderate-income buyers. The local Texas State Bank agreed to work with potential borrowers who will have access to FHA loan programs.

The new Woodway Subdivision will boost the local housing industry and the City as a whole. At least eight of the 16 new houses will be set aside for low- to moderate-income families. While modest in size, the homes exemplify the best in design concepts such as brick veneer and hardiplank exteriors, pitched roofs, elegant entryways and porches, and quality construction.

But it is the partnerships that have made the Woodway Subdivision possible, helping to mitigate high costs in a rural setting. The prices of the homes will range from $79,000 to $129,000

The Woodway Subdivision is a perfect example of an effective public and private partnership bringing high quality affordable housing to the area proof that big ideas and committed partnerships can help all communities, large and small.

Content Archived: September 09, 2009