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story.lead_photo.caption Ayden Blair celebrates the new home he and has family will move into Friday in Texarkana, Ark. Habitat for Humanity of Texarkana held a blessing and dedication for the first time on the Arkansas side for the Blair family home.

Courtney Blair is ready to move in her new home and start unpacking.

Blair is the owner of the first Habitat for Humanity home built in Texarkana, Ark.

A dedication ceremony for the new home was held Friday at 2202 E. 12th St. Blair planned to start moving in later that day.

"I am so excited," she said. "And the kids are, too."

Courtney Blair and her children, Ayden and Adiana, cut the ribbon together to their new home on Friday in Texarkana, Ark.
Photo by Hunt Mercier/Texarkana Gazette.

Since 1987, Habitat for Humanity Texarkana Inc. has sheltered more than 120 people in Texarkana, Texas, through simple, decent and affordable housing. Now there is one on the Arkansas side.

Courtney applied and was selected into the Habitat program and has been earning sweat equity hours by working on the home, assisting in community events, helping at Habitat events and completing home ownership classes. By the time her home was complete, the Blair family had worked more than 200 volunteer hours.

"From day one, from the first board, I've been working on it. I've learned so much, I feel like I could build another house," Blair said. Her children, ages 4 and 11, also helped.

"They picked out colors for their rooms and everything," Blair said.

Habitat homes in the Texarkana area sold to families for $65,000 to $75,000, depending on the number of bedrooms. The mortgage will help fund future Habitat homes. The downside is, it takes 25-30 years to recoup the investment. Habitat relies on contributions to continue building.

"Habitat for Humanity Texarkana Inc. is hard at work eliminating poverty housing and improving the lives of hard working, low income families,"said Katherine Morgan, Board Chair for HFHT. She added, "In addition to the benefit for the family, the community realizes substantial benefits from Habitat homes. The homes can be a catalyst for neighbors to clean up and beautify existing properties, creating more of a community environment in which families take pride. Affordable housing also gives families more available income to contribute to the growth of the local economy. "

Habitat for Humanity will build the second Arkansas home in the spring. The prospective homeowner has chosen the property adjacent to 2202 E 12th. According to HFHT Executive Director Mary Wormington, the partnership with the city of Texarkana, Ark., has opened up the building opportunities in Arkansas. A city grant to start a repair program designated for elderly homeowners 65 and older is also in the works. The repair program is scheduled to start mid-year once budgets are passed. HFHT would like to thank the city of Texarkana Arkansas and Rogers Construction and many other partners for working on the house,

To make a donation, volunteer or sponsor a home contact call (9030 832- 1746) or email: info@habitattexarkana.org

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