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Legacy to build new homes downtown

Three more homes for working families may be in the future for downtown Port Arthur, as the city this week conveyed empty lots at 909, 937 and 949 Dr. Rev. Ransom Howard St. to Legacy Community Development.

Legacy has built and sold 11 downtown homes on Fifth and Sixth Streets to homebuyers who qualify for them; most have three beds, two baths. To qualify to purchase, the homebuyer must be employed, meet a credit standard and complete a course on homeownership provided by Legacy.

Vivian Ballou, executive director for Legacy, said the agency plans to complete its mission of building 30 homes downtown by May 2020, then seek another agreement with Port Arthur Economic Development Corp. to build 30 more. That would require Port Arthur voters to approve.

“Now it is starting to really move,” she said of the neighborhood. “It is already changing that neighborhood.

Legacy intends to build another wave of homes — 10 at the same time — this year.

The city’s downtown plan includes building affordable single-family homes for sales to working people, populating downtown with enough residents to encourage establishment of businesses.

Ballou said the city leases the property to Legacy, which in turn vets the buyers and builds the homes, then sells the homes to them in partnership with the city. The homes are built under the rules of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The target area for building and selling the homes is from Rev. Dr. Ransom Howard Street to Fifth Street, Mobile Avenue to Stilwell Avenue.

She said Legacy will host open houses from 2-6 p.m. Sunday at 923 Fifth Street and 1238 Fifth St.

 

See also: GLO: Post-Harvey, 222 homes underway