Since 2006, in response to Marana’s need to support first-time homebuyers, Habitat Tucson has been the Town’s official affordable housing provider. Mayor Ed Honea secured the land for the Whitney Farms neighborhood, providing the opportunity to build affordable housing alongside Marana’s higher income housing communities. Strong partnerships between public and private organizations help make affordable housing accessible in our community.
Habitat Tucson’s partnership with Mayor Honea began when he volunteered at our construction site, about 20 years ago. As a volunteer, he connected immediately with our mission. Honea says, “Ownership connects you to the community.” But homeownership is becoming too difficult for young people. Honea says,“Today, there are so many young people who cannot get a house. If you’re a teacher or a police officer or a firefighter and you’re a young person, you get married, and have a couple of kids, you can’t get into a house.”
Helping young people stay local is crucial for our shared vision of a revitalized, energetic Marana.
Mayor Honea pictures it like this:
“A young person moves in, and they’ve got two or three kids. They shop in your grocery stores or the feed stores. Their children play on our Little League teams, ride their bikes down the street, and go to our schools. It gives the community a new vitality. It’s new life.”
Affordable housing can be deeply personal, too. Charlene, a Habitat homeowner, saw Mayor Honea at Marana Health Center, where she worked. She came up to him and she said, “I want to thank you. My children and I were able to get a home over on Whitney Lane.”
He says, “She really made an impression on me. I mean, here’s this young woman coming up and thanking me for making that land available. It touches you right in your heart.”