A Tale of Three Households
Gordon Anderson, TDHCA, 8/13/13
The City of Taft knows how to throw a party. Why celebrate the successful conclusion of one home reconstruction project when you can celebrate three in one day?
That's just what the city did when it and its consultant (GrantWorks) handed over the keys to new homes to three local residents. These families had their home previously demolished and completely rebuilt with HOME Program funds from TDHCA.
Each new home is well-built, attractive and equipped with central air/heat, washers, dryers, microwaves, dishwashers, disposals, and even a tankless water heater.
"This is so nice! I am so very happy," exclaimed Juanita R. after walking into her new home for the first time. Ms. R. lived with her brother less than a block away while her home was rebuilt and, after eagerly watching her new home rise up from its foundation, she was ready to finally move in.
"This home is so much better than what she had," noted daughter Celia. "The old home had cracks everywhere, and condensation from the window air conditioner would seep in and make each one larger. And every year, the ceiling would come down a little lower and a little lower. I'll be able to relax, knowing she's in such a safe, nice home."
Alicia and Silvestre G. were equally happy to receive the keys to their new home. They purchased their original home 43 years ago, but the structure had actually been built perhaps as far back as the late 1930s or 40s for use as a store where kerosene and other goods were sold.
In addition to its age and deteriorating condition, a concrete floor gave away its commercial past for which the new home more than compensates. "I would never have believed this was possible; it truly is a miracle," Mr. G. said as he gazed around his new home. "What a blessing!"
Eighty-three year-old Nicha B. was surrounded by family members as she walked into her new home for a first glimpse. With her son Arnulfo translating, the old was contrasted with the new.
"The old home was all made of wood, there was no air conditioning, and the wiring was old; it wasn't safe. But she raised eight children in that house, so this neighborhood was home. She's really happy she could stay here, where all her memories are. Only now, she'll be able to make new ones."
Not every memory will be cherished, however. When showed her new clothes washer/dryer combination, she turned to her family beaming and vowed she would "throw away all my clothespins and that old clothesline. I don't need 'em any more!"
Sounds like a good reason to party!
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