Pictured: Izaak and Isaiah Chavarria enjoy cake as they celebrate in their new house Tuesday. Photo by OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

City's fifth Habitat home blessed Tuesday

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

The Chavarria family received keys to their dream house on Fourth and Peter streets as part of the Habitat Humanity program.

Carlos Chavarria, his wife Luz and their three children, Izaak, Isaiah and Mathew, bowed their heads as Father Richard Libby with St. Joseph Catholic Church blessed the home.

"This is good, it's good for the kids and we have our own privacy," said Luz as guests enjoyed cake during the celebration ceremony and admiring the ceilings. "It makes it look more like a Spanish-style."

This is the fifth home constructed through the Habitat for Humanity program. Local and out-of-town volunteers assisted in building the three-bedroom, two-bath home for the Chavarria family.

The couple, as part of the agreement with Habitat for Humanity, volunteered 300 hours to help complete their home.

Carlos Chavarria said he helped with some of the carpentry and Luz helped with insulation and some of the painting.

"The Care-a-Vanners did a lot of work," Carlos said. "I kind of felt I was in the way."

But Carlos said he vows to volunteer with other Habitat for Humanity homes in the area and is looking forward to helping with house project number six.

Applications for the sixth Habitat for Humanity home are currently being accepted through June 30, organizers said.

The Jim Wells County Habitat for Humanity is accepting applications for its sixth Habitat Home in the county. Construction of the home is set to begin in early 2008.

Applicants must meet income eligibility, which is based on family size.

The three basic qualifications are a housing need, the ability to pay and a willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity.

The family selected is expected to work alongside volunteers to build their home. The house is then sold to the family on a 20-year interest free loan. The monthly mortgage payment of the home averages about $425 per month, which includes insurance and taxes.

The family should be able to meet the house payment plus the other household and utility expenses.

The Chavarrias were anxious to move into their home and on Tuesday evening, they were going to start moving some furniture into their new house, located at the corner of Fourth and Peter streets.

While weather delayed construction, the house was still built in about three months, Carlos said.

The Chavarrias said they thank everyone who participated in the construction of their new house.

"I would like to thank the Habitat for Humanity board and the care-a-vanners," Luz said as her eyes were tearing and she paused for a moment. "If it wasn't for them…each of them brought their own special touch."