On Thursday afternoon, ground officially broke on the 12-plot development for affordable houses on the southside of Odessa.
The development was spearheaded by the Odessa Housing Finance Corporation with its partnership with Rhodes USA and NEO Construction.
The affordable housing development is located in the 1200 block of Lamesa Street about a block south of Murphy Street. The development is a cul-de-sac that will feature six houses on the north and south sides of the street.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, there were six speakers that included OHFC executive director Jill Miller, Rhodes USA director Emanuel Papas, State Rep. Brooks Landgraf, Odessa City Manager Michael Marrero, Odessa City Councilmember for District 1 Mark Matta and Odessa Development Corporation member David Boutin.
“This is such a big passion project for me,” Matta said of the ceremony.
Miller said this project has been more than a decade in the making. She said this 12-house development will be known as Smith Heights.
After the ceremony, Miller explained she knows there are agencies in Odessa that need affordable housing. She also explained OHFC can help homebuyers cover up to $20,000 in closing costs that would be in a form of a second lien that would be forgiven if the homeowner lives in the house for five years.
“We need people that stay in our community and are part of our community,” Miller said.
These 12 house will have steel framing. Papas explained during his speech that steel framing was manufactured in Lubbock and the material is durable.
Papas said it takes about a day for frame construction to be completed. He believes the pre-fabricated frames helps speed along the building process.
“We believe there are significant savings,” Papas said. “Everything is pre-fabricated, so all they are doing is standing up the wall panels and then putting the roof trusses on. The pre-fabricated is the saving on time.”
Though the groundbreaking at the 12-house Smith Heights development just took place, the OHFC with its partners of Rhodes USA and NEO Construction won’t have to wait long to begin another project as a 33-housing development about two blocks south of the 1200 block of Lamesa Street will begin soon. OHFC has also been approved for a 53-lot development at the intersection of East Pool Road and Rochester Avenue.
Matta said he’s pleased with the ability to bring affordable housing to the southside of Odessa. He said he has also been approached by other developers about bringing housing and businesses to his district.
“The growth out here on the southside is just beginning,” Matta said. “There’s more to come.”