Marietta bringing affordable homes to city, school employees

Some Marietta employees will soon be able to have a home of their own. The city is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to build affordable housing for city and school employees.

"I've been looking for something like this a long time... affordable," said Paulette Goldwire, who works for Marietta City Schools.

Wednesday, Goldwire and other school and city employees got to hear all about the city's new Public Service Housing Program.

With the price of homes skyrocketing, city leaders know homeownership is out of reach for some. So, they teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to build affordable homes specifically for those who work for the city and Marietta City Schools.

"We will be building six new houses that are exclusively available to public service workers. We're donating $500,000 directly to Habitat and we've donated the lots to them as well," said Kelsey Thomson-White, Marietta's Community Development Manager.

The city is using money from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Three bedroom, two bath homes will be built on lots on Frasier, Griggs and Hedges Streets. Some will be two-story homes, others ranches. The maximum price will be $250,000.

"This is an excellent opportunity to achieve affordability within the city of Marietta, which is such a popular place to live," said Felicia Alingu with Habitat for Humanity.

The city will leave it up to Habitat for Humanity to choose who the homes go to. The families have to meet specific criteria and show a need. They will also have to pitch in 200 hours of sweat equity.

"They have to be out there. They're hammering the nails in the home, they're putting in the insulation, the siding, laying sod, they're participating in all aspects of construction of their home," said Alingu.

However, in the end, employees believe it will all be worth it. They will have their own home in the city where they work.

"A lot of people being closer to their homes, closer to their kids, closer to school. So I'm excited about it.," said Shaquera Johnson who works for Marietta City Schools.

The first three homes will be built this summer, one on Griggs Street and two more on Frazier Street. The other three will be built next summer.

Both the city and Habitat for Humanity say this is the first program like this in Georgia and possibly in the country.