New Affordable Housing in Odessa

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

Housing is hard to come by here in the Permian Basin.
NewsWest 9 reported last week the city of Odessa is building a new 53-home workforce affordable neighborhood, but what happens to the families who can't afford those homes?      

The City of Odessa is beginning a new housing project aimed at providing some relief.

They're hoping to turn three vacant lots on Bluebird Street into housing for families who can't afford a place to live.

"I think it's great," Margaret Bullington, said. "It will bring beauty to our neighborhood, it will bring new neighbors to me. I think it's a great idea."

"We'll be constructing initially six homes on vacant lots throughout the community," Merita Sandoval, Program Manager for City of Odessa, said.

Odessa is taking tax forclosed properites and donated lots, and building new homes in three different neighborhoods.

"It's been an idea that we've thought about for quite a while, because we know the need for affordable housing is out there," Sandoval said.

But the city isn't doing this alone, John Burnett Construction in Odessa will build the energy-efficient homes, and First Basin Credit Union will provide mortgages to the families.

"Right now, there's not a lot of housing being constructed, or available within under the $100,000 range," Sandoval said. "That's a need that the city has seen and we want to try to address."

Prospective buyers have to meet a few qualifications.

"As long as they're not over 80% of area median income, for their household size, they can qualify for our program," Sandoval said.

"They can qualify, depending on their household income, and the number of people that live in the household, people can qualify for anywhere from $2500 to $20,000 as their down payment," she said. "We will pay up to $4,000 for the closing costs. And all the person is required to bring in is $800 of their own money."

The city says this program is unique.

"We're taking non-tax-producing properties, we're putting it back on the tax roles," Sandoval said.

The city is hoping to begin construction in September.

"I always enjoy new neighbors!" Bullington said.