Habitat for Humanity to rebuild troubled Pasco neighborhood

By Tim Wronka, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, February 01, 2018, 8:06 AM EST

Relief is on the way for a Pasco County neighborhood riddled with rundown homes and crime.

  • Habitat plans new single-family homes in New Port Richey
  • Many current homes are condemned, vacant
  • Project gets underway Saturday

The West Pasco Habitat For Humanity just bought 17 lots near U.S. 19 and Gulf Drive in New Port Richey. It will build new single-family homes on Leisure Lane and Van Doren Avenue.

Executive Director Dr. Hobus Appelgrijn said it's about time something is done with that area, known as Town & Country Villas.

"It's just a real bad neighborhood all around," Appelgrijn said. "It looks terrible. You have these homes that are dilapidated with garbage all over the street and all over the yards."

That's why Habitat has purchased the lots. The idea is to rebuild and reimagine the neighborhood in a $2 million investment.

The homes there now are either condemned, vacant, rented or even lived in by homeless. Drugs are also rampant there.

Habitat wants to tear those homes down and start over.

"We then build affordable, decent homes for people. If they qualify, they get a zero percent mortgage. We really encourage home ownership," Appelgrijn said.

The plan calls for more than 100 single-family homes to eventually be built. Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, who is also on the Habitat board, said the county is looking at getting other properties purchased and other investors involved.

The project gets underway on Saturday, when the first two condemned homes get torn down.