Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities

Keys Open Doors to Dream Homes

Story by Michelle Dillon, Tri County Leader

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Barbara and Morris Austin receive the keys to their new home from Troup Mayor Joe Carlyle. “Being a home builder, I’m always excited for families to move into their new homes,” Carlyle said. “Now I get to experience this with our own families as mayor.”
Photo: Michelle Dillon, Tri County Leader

*Note – Home repair activities featured in the article below were made possible through a funding award from the TDHCA HOME Homeowner Rehabilitation Program to the City of Troup.

Two new houses now stand in Troup thanks to a grant from Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The owners of the newly erected three bedroom, one bathroom homes are Morris and Barbara Austin and Sam and Lutrecia Medford.

“Both houses had significant foundation and roofing issues,” noted Christel Kiker, Administrative Assistant at Traylor and Associates, Inc., the grant consults for Troup. “There was damage to ceiling tiles and uneven flooring throughout both houses. Heating and cooling sources were not always sufficient during extreme weather. Plumbing and electrical were outdated and unsafe. They were replaced with energy efficient, safe, handicap accessible homes.”

To be eligible for the grant, applicants were required to own their own home, be income eligible, owe no property taxes and have a home in disrepair.

“I was happy; I was overjoyed,” Morris Austin said about how he felt when first discovering he had been approved as an applicant for the new home.

“My wife was especially [happy],” Austin commented.” We’ve been in the old house since 1975 and she wanted something new.”

Though the Austins originally applied for the grant in January of 2017, work on the building of the new home didn’t begin until September. They stayed with their son, who also lives in Troup, while construction was ongoing.

“I’m proud of what the city has done for us and everybody else who helped us get the grant,” Austin stated. “We couldn’t afford a new one ourselves.”

“Elated,” was Lutrecia Medford’s one word answer about her reaction to being notified she would be getting one of the new homes.

Medford stated she’d been living in her old home 23 years and had previously applied for a grant.

“I’m just grateful and thankful,” Medford said about seeing the completed house. “You never think it can happen to you and when it does, you can’t even explain how you feel.”

“We have been blessed to have the opportunity to play a part in a unique program that came available for two of our Troup families,” Mayor Joe Carlyle stated. “Being a home builder, I’m always excited for families to move into their new homes. Now I get to experience this with our own families as mayor.”

* The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) provides HOME funds to TDHCA through an annual formula grant. The Department awards these funds to eligible applicants, such as the City of Troup, which expends the funds at the local level to expand the supply of decent, affordable housing.

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HOME Homeowner Rehabilitation Assistance Program