Habitat for Humanity has a brand new partner and they are building a whole new type of home in east San Antonio.

Friday, they cut the ribbon on the first of a new category of home, built in partnership with newcomer non-profit Cross Timber Homes.

Habitat for Humanity CEO Natalie Griffith said, "At Habitat, we began to have more and more families come to us seeking affordable home ownership, but they were slightly above the income range that we serve.”

Griffith said there is a real need for new homes for people who make a little too much money for traditional assistance programs, but not enough to qualify for a higher-end home.

“We found that there were fewer and fewer quality homes that were affordable to moderate income families."

So, in distressed east San Antonio, the two organizations have partnered with lenders and others to turn vacant lots into affordable dreams for those in the middle.

They have built two three-bedroom, two-bath homes with purchase prices starting at $149,500.

Neighborhood leader Ruben Guerrero, who works nearby at St. Philip’s College, said this initiative is long overdue and badly needed. "This is something that this side of town has been waiting for. People are used to looking at empty lots and wondering what's going to happen," Guerrero said.

Guerrero said the near east side is close to many amenities that appeal to all ages of home buyers.

“It's close to the freeway. It's close to the Incarnate Word Eye Center. It's close to St. Philip's, the AT&T Center and to Fort Sam for those veterans that need to be close to their work.”

Cross Timber Homes Executive Director Michael Taylor said one of the most attractive features of the new venture is plenty of choices for no additional cost.

"They get to choose exterior paint color, cabinets, flooring, countertop finishes, all at no additional cost, so it's a really great home buying experience," Taylor said.

Monthly payments can be less than $1200.

The list of ways they are helping consumers is extensive. There is a $5,000 down payment assistance option, as well as homebuyer readiness training.

Taylor said none of the homes will be built on speculation. Construction gets underway when a buyer puts up one-percent of the purchase price in an escrow account, and chooses their options.

The first two homes are already finished and sold but more are on the way. Two homes are under construction on Dakota Street, just east of St. Philip’s College.

You can learn more about the program on the Cross Timber Homes website.