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Trinity Habitat for Humanity speaks about area aid

Habitat for Humanity is looking to make a difference in the community after the March tornado.

Gage Yager of Trinity Habitat for Humanity, which normally serves Wise, Parker, Tarrant and Johnson County, gave a presentation May 27 where they hope to work in collaboration with city and county officials. Yager said his group has worked during the Granbury tornado and has also done some work with the recent fires in Eastland County.

The group will be trying to have some boots on the ground with Jacksboro and Eastland being reasonable close to manage both projects.

“It’s in our heart to help,” Yager explained.

Yager said the group focuses in areas where the average median income is 80 percent or less of state average. In this area, that would be around $45,600. In Jack County, 37 houses have been declared destroyed with another 89 having major damage.

Yager said his group will be working with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) which has formed a local committee. The group had its first training earlier this week.

Funding was thought to be available through Housing and Urban Development through a Community Development Block Grant. Jeremy Basset with UMCOR told the group that to get that funding a Presidential disaster must be declared and hasn’t. There may possibly be some State Funds available through the HOME program, which is being researched right now, Basset explained.

Yager said the timing with getting things built has extended because of COVID.

“We were on a roughly 14-17 week schedule with a full crew,” Yager explained. “Now getting windows and cabinets in can take around 18 weeks.”

Senior Director of Construction Christine Panagopoulos said the group has seen so much and the construction the group does will be able to stand 140 mph winds.

“Inspectors say they would have us build for them,” Panagopoulos said.

Yager said many of the workers are young Amish and Mennonite people who will do much of the framing with subcontractors doing much of the inside work.

“This is not a custom build,” Yager said. “We do have a lot of floor plans, however. (Homeowners) will be able to make a few choices with all the codes being met for the specific area.

The typical house being built is a 3-2-1 (three bedroom, two bath, one car garage) and runs about 1,150 square feet, Yager said.

Both county and city officials were asked for a proclamation saying the organization is working here. It was agreed both will do so at their June meeting.

Jacksboro Newspapers

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