Unisa Frazier is overjoyed about the home she will have thanks to the efforts of Baytown Habitat for Humanity.
“It is awesome,” Frazier said. “They told me right after the New Year. This is a good way to start 2020.”
A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the home at the site near East Homan Street Wednesday afternoon. Frazier will live in the three-bedroom home once it is built with her two children, Aniya and Deondre. Frazier has a third daughter but said she comes and goes.
Frazier is familiar with the neighborhood.
“I drove around whenever they told me where it was. I remember this area and grew up somewhat here. So, I know the area,” she said.
Frazier found out about Baytown Habitat’s program through a friend of hers.
“I call her a sister,” Frazier said. “I filled out everything and kept going through the steps. And when they called me and told me I got the house, my heart dropped. I really wasn’t expecting it. I cried and cried and am happy now.”
Cliff Clements, the Habitat’s president, said he was excited to see such a turnout for the groundbreaking.
“We are extremely excited about what is happening with Habitat,” Clements said. “This area was where Alamo Elementary used to be. Now, there are only two lots left in this area, and we will develop them.”
Clements said once they are finished with the lots near Fraizer’s soon-to-be-built home, they will move over to Ward Road, where they have six lots.
Clements also gave a shout out to the “Friday Crew,” who is assisting in building the home.
Baytown Mayor Brandon Capetillo joined the ceremony.
“There are two important days when it comes to this - the day we hold the groundbreaking ceremony and when we give keys to the family,” Capetillo said. “In the City of Baytown, we have a motto where we say we enrich lives and build communities. Everybody here is a stakeholder, and it is remarkable to see the continuance of repurposing this land. It is proud for me as a mayor to go and see us come together and offer a new home to a very deserving family. It warms my heart.”
Det. William Nelson, Baytown Municipal Police Association president, said it is a privilege to be a part of the groundbreaking.
“We enjoy being a part of this. Home ownership is a big deal,” Nelson said. “Remember, when building this out, you are not only investing in your home you are also investing in this community.”
Speaking to Frazier, Nelson said safety and security is like a partnership between them.
“Never feel like you cannot rely on that partner when you need us,” he said.
Denise Burcham, Baytown Chemical Expansion Project executive, said ExxonMobil is the 2020 building underwriter for the house.
“ExxonMobil has a more than a 100-year relationship with Baytown,” Burcham said. “We are excited about supporting as you make this home in this community.”
Assistant City Manager Kevin Troller, who has a crew of folks that help build the house, was on hand for the ceremony. Also present were Lee College’s new president, Dr. Lynda Villanueva, along with Regents Pete Alfaro and Mark Hall.
From Goose Creek CISD, board member Jessica Woods attended as did Traci Dillard, representing the United Way of the Greater Baytown Area and Chambers County. In addition, many Baytown Habitat board members showed their support by attending.
For each home, it takes about 9,000 hours of labor to complete and during construction, anywhere from 10 to 20 volunteers are on site helping. Since 1990, Baytown Habitat has built over 40 homes in the Baytown community.
The Baytown Habitat accepts applications for homeownership year-round. Habitat homeowners must meet three primary requirements:
• They must have living conditions that are overcrowded, substandard or cost-burdened as described by HUD.
• They must have willingness to partner through volunteerism and complete required education classes on homeownership and financial stability.
• They also must have the ability to pay a 25-year 0% interest mortgage at approximately $700 to $800 a month.
To apply, visit www.baytownhabitat.org or call 281-427-0866.