State grant allows Lufkin to grow with affordable housing

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – For those still affected by last December's tornado there is finally some hope, thanks to a grant from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

In fact, the state agency blessed Lufkin twice also approving a loan for more affordable rental housing.

When Governor Perry declared parts of Lufkin "disaster areas" after December's tornado and city leaders got to work applying for relief funding.

"We did not qualify for any FEMA due to the size of the event, but we did qualify for a few things," said Lufkin Deputy City Manager Keith Wright.

The city was awarded a $500,000 grant to re-build at least six homes destroyed by the twister.

"If we have money left over we can try to re-allocate that and do another house," said Wright.

Although there are some signs of repair and reconstruction along the area around Lubbock Street. The several lots behind me are still completely bare.

The homeowners on this block- now without homes - could be perfect candidates for the money. They'll just need to apply.

"It needs to be a reconstruction. It's not a repair, minor repairs. Reconstruction of the home," said Wright.

Tornado victims aren't the only ones who could benefit from state housing funds. Also approved by the state -- the constuction of 11 homes for low and moderate income renters.

"Seven of which will be built in the city of Lufkin and four more will be built in Hudson," said Director of Project Development Doug Dowler.

Doug Dowler works for DM Ministries, a non-profit providing affordable homes. These signs show where the new houses will be built -- each one, a local family's dream coming true.

"They'll all be three bedroom, two bath, two car-garage, brick homes," said Dowler.

Just like the homes right next door. Dowler says he's thrilled to fill the huge housing need for lower income families.

Keith Wright says they'll notify folks when they're ready to start taking applications which will be available at city hall. Help will be provided to get through the process.

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