This is Austin Habitat. This is what we know.
Substandard. Overcrowded. Cost-burdensome.
More than 60,000 working Austin families live like this.
We need change.
Everyone deserves a simple, decent and affordable place to live.
Together we can end the cycle of poverty. Together we can CHANGE LIVES
The 2011 Legal Build is a partnership between
Austin Habitat for Humanity and the Austin Bar Association. Its goal:
to bring the legal community together to change lives in Austin by
creating opportunity and inspiring hope through the power of home
ownership. This will be the third Legal Build that has brought together
the Austin legal community to provide an opportunity for a Habitat for
Humanity family to own a home.
The Austin Bar’s Legal Build committee will lead the effort to raise
$65,000 to finance the building, as well as organize volunteers to work
with the family to physically build the home. To qualify for the
dubious honor of having their home built by people who usually put
together sentences and arguments, rather than bricks and mortar, the
family will have completed nearly 400 hours of “sweat equity” building
homes with Austin Habitat, and have taken 24 hours of housing
counseling. The family will purchase their home with the help of a
zero-interest mortgage that they fully repay.
Austin Habitat remains true to one of its tag lines, “A handup, not a
handout.” And the results are impressive. Children of low-income
homeowners are 20% more likely to graduate from high school, 62% more
likely to acquire post-secondary education, and typically earn 24%
higher income as adults. Helping parents become homeowners improves
their children’s prospects for a more productive adult life. Jessica Mangrum, a Thompson Coe Associate and Co-Chair of the Bar’s
current biennial effort, agrees that home ownership opens many doors,
“The benefits that a family obtains from home ownership extend beyond a
simple roof over their heads. A home changes everything. This is one
way for the legal community’s actions to speak in ways that words
cannot,” Mangrum says.