Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa is partnering with a local home builder to develop more than 30 new affordable homes in the city's West End, the nonprofit announced Tuesday night.

Ellen Potts, Habitat's executive director in Tuscaloosa, said the team-up is with the Builders Group, a locally owned and operated residential construction firm and a longtime Habitat partner.

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The new homes will be part of the Milestone Neighborhood, a new development planned at the southern end of 42nd and 43rd Avenues in west Tuscaloosa.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

Potts said the Builders Group has owned the land for the neighborhood for two decades and last year, they cleared it, installed roads and other infrastructure and approached Habitat about the possibility of a partnership.

Potts said TBG donated some of the property to the nonprofit and sold parts of it to them, but the end result is 32 new lots where Habitat homes will be built in the next several years.

The Milestone Neighborhood will be part of Operation Transformation, which was already bringing 43 new Habitat homes to the area, and Potts said all 75 new homes will be constructed in part  in part by local high school students from the Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy and by students served by United Cerebral Palsy, giving young people the experience they need to kickstart their careers after graduation.

“This is certainly a milestone for both Habitat Tuscaloosa and The Builders Group. For Habitat it represents new beginnings, and for us it represents the culmination of a project we began 20 years ago to provide affordable, new housing in West Tuscaloosa," said Brock Corder, president of the Builders Group. "When all is said and done, this project will include about $6 million total investment of both private and public dollars to provide affordable housing in West Tuscaloosa. Bigger still, is that it provides a runway of on-the-job learning projects for local city and county students learning the trades and preparing for a career in construction.”

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

Potts said the lots will be developed for families that really need them -- the first Milestone home will be autism-supportive for an already-identified local family. Another will be for the Jemison-Martin family, whose 8-year-old is a quadriplegic as a result of a catastrophic automobile accident.

“Although we have other property, most of it does not have infrastructure. Without this acquisition from the Builders Group, we would have run out of buildable lots in another few months," Potts said. "The property we received from the Builders Group will give us about 3 years to raise the funds and install the infrastructure on the property we own near Kaulton Park. The fact that this new property is within a mile of TCTA so we can continue our Operation Transformation job training program is the icing on the

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