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GREENVILLE (CBS 11 NEWS) – The gray single story structure with blue shutters in northern Greenville was once an empty shell of a house; but soon it will be the new home— mortgage-free— to a disabled veteran.
This two-bedroom one-bath home is modest. It was such a mess that in December the house was slated for demolition, according to developer Mike Meyer of Brook Community Development, who showed before-and-after photos to CBS 11 News.
“There you can see no walls, just down to the studs. And then the foundation—there was no flooring. No water heater, furnace or AC.” And it needed completely new wiring.
But that was not a problem for Donna VanNess or the Tarrant County Housing Partnership. “We’re sort of excited to be able to start from scratch and bring everything new in….No floors, no walls it was completely gutted when we first got it. It was just a shell of a house.”
But instead of tearing it down, Bank of America gave it to the “Homes with Honor” program of the Tarrant County Housing Partnership. Add in some volunteers and material donated from a local Home Depot, and now it is ready for a veteran that the VA lists as 100% disabled. “If they do need ADA retrofit we will add that on to the house,” according to VanNess.
It has a new washer and dryer, kitchen appliances, bathroom plumbing and fixtures…. all new and ready for move-in. Much to Mike Meyer’s satisfaction. “To help them transform their life back into a non-military society is exciting.”
Meyer is a Navy veteran himself. “And when you see some of the veterans with the disabilities and the particular challenges they face. To make a difference that a house can make makes you real proud.”
Neighbors say it has even inspired some of them to upgrade their own homes. But the real benefit, according to Rickie McBride is that it goes to a deserving service member. “I feel great about that. They all need help. They fought for our country and all that.”
The housing partnership has gotten interest from as far away as the East Coast. The home will be mortgage-free as long as the veteran stays in it for at least five years. He or she must still pay for insurance and taxes. Applications from vets will be accepted through April 3rd. Interested parties can apply online to the Tarrant County Housing Partnership.
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