March 30, 2007 — Austin

In an effort to raise awareness of the needs of Southeast Texans, Texas REALTORS® throughout the state raised more than $140,000 to fund the construction of two Habitat for Humanity homes for two families whose lives were affected by Hurricane Rita. In addition to raising these funds, Texas Realtor members personally joined Beaumont Habitat for Humanity – coming from the local area, Austin, College Station and even as far as Fort Worth â€“ to participate in the three-week build.

“Rita forced many Southeast Texans into uninhabitable living conditions,” said John Rosshirt, chairman for TAR’s Rita Recovery Task Force. “While the strides made by Beaumont Habitat for Humanity have been tremendous, we knew that it would take the cooperative efforts of many to be successful on the long road to recovery.”

“As Texas REALTORS®, we understand the importance of owning one’s own home. We are honored to have had this opportunity to help our fellow Texans in need,” Rosshirt added.

More than 170 Texas REALTORS® participated in the three-week build. Working alongside of them were others, including AmeriCorp NCCC volunteers and Houston’s First Church of God. The build ended with a news conference hosted by Port Arthur’s Mayor Pro Tem Delores Prince, who thanked the volunteers and Beaumont Habitat for Humanity for their commitment, and the City of Port Arthur for donating the land.

Beaumont Habitat for Humanity has focused almost solely on Beaumont itself, building 31 houses in 2006. However, in 2007, the reach was broadened to include Sabine Pass, Port Arthur and Port Neches. As a continuation of Beaumont Habitat for Humanity’s Rita Recovery Program, these two homes are the first of up to 20 homes that the Habitat affiliate plans to build in 2007 for hurricane-affected families.