South Boston, VA - The town of South Boston is taking a step into the future with new energy efficient housing.
Two "eco-mod" home units are being built in the Poplar Creek subdivision, and the goal is to make them efficient and affordable for low income families.
It's the result of a partnership between the town, the University of Virginia and a community housing development non-profit.
The groups came together to provide rental housing and financial education to help families make their dreams of one day owning a home come true.
It's safe to say town manager Ted Daniel is pleased with the newest additions to the South Boston community.
"I'd like to live in one myself, " he said.
Daniel says it has taken a lot of effort to get the two eco-mod units up and running, but it was well worth it.
"It's been a long time coming, and hopefully this is just the first two houses. We're going to have at least three or four... as many as we can get, " he said.
The homes will have four bedrooms and two bathrooms. They're equipped with modern, energy efficient amenities, cutting costs on utility bills.
But they will also be a stepping stone for the folks who live in them.
"We provide housing counseling and financial literacy training, and we also pull credit reports, " said Earl Howerton, Executive Director of Southside Outreach Group - the non-profit that will be helping the tenants learn the tools they need to buy their own homes one day.
"They're going to start off renting hereand hopefully we're going to transition them into home ownership opportunities, " Howerton said.
Architecture and Engineering students at the University of Virginia will help monitor the success of the homes over a two year period.
Recent graduate Elizabeth Rivard was one of the architects on the project and she hopes they get a positive response.
"I know they look a little different than usual houses, but we hope that - especially once people get inside and they see how bright and light-filled the spaces are - that they'll see where we're coming from, " she said.
The Tobacco Commission, Cardinal Homes and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center were also involved in bringing the project to life.
They expect the units to be completed within the next month or two.