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Austin, Texas Aug. 3, 2022: Representatives with Empire Communities, Mobile Loaves & Fishes and HomeAid Austin were on hand Tuesday to cut the ribbon on the Happy House, a new tiny home in Community First! Village.


Built and designed by Empire Communities, Happy House incorporates a dining room, living room, sleeping area and closet within 190 square feet. There is also an exterior closet and a screened-in porch. Residents of the 51-acre community have access to communal laundry, restroom and shower facilities, as well as outdoor kitchens, community gardens and more.


“Of course, every home we build is important to us, but Happy House and the other tiny homes being built in Community First! Village are truly life-changing,” said Terry Shuffler, Empire’s Central Texas Division President. “Many of the people living in the village have been homeless for years.”

The first phase of Community First! Village encompasses 230 tiny and RV/park homes and Phase 2 — now under development — will add an additional 200 tiny homes and 110 RV/park homes. Approximately 180 men and women found a home in the community’s first phase, with nearly 100 moved into Phase 2 of Community First! Village. Their average age is 58, and most have spent about 10 years living on the streets. Residents are expected to pay rent, and homes are fully furnished when they move in, including the stocked pantry and refrigerator.


HomeAid Austin brought in Empire Communities and others to build in the Community First! Village, a project of Mobile Loaves & Fishes. The builders work with trade partners to procure discounts and donations to help fund construction of the homes. Vendors helping with Empire’s Happy Home construction include: Builders FirstSource, Keith Barker Roofing, Wester Pacific, Kent Moore Cabinets, JSS Framing, JLJR Framing, 2A General Carpentry, Cool Insulation, Amptech Electric, Stans Heating & Cooling, AusTex Painting, Dan White’s Screens & Things, E&E Cleaning and Reliable Cleaning Services.


“We are so grateful for the generous support of our vendors,” Shuffler said. “We couldn’t have done this without them.”


Besides offering affordable, permanent housing, Community First! Village has communal areas such as an outdoor movie screen and community art house that encourage people to gather and build relationships. Residents also find employment opportunities in the village, and a Capital Metro bus stop there allows residents to venture into the surrounding area for work and other needs. Genesis Gardens sits on 2 acres, and Community First! Village neighbors and volunteers work side-by-side to cultivate produce given away at a free farmers market. An on-site clinic provides physical and mental health services. Also found on-site are a chapel, dog park, grill and hair salon.


Mobile Loaves & Fishes is a social outreach ministry that has served the homeless in Central Texas for more than two decades. HomeAid Austin is the local affiliate of HomeAid, which aims to help people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to build new lives through construction, community engagement and education. Empire Communities builds in 11 Austin-area communities. Empire’s Central Texas Division President Shuffler is a HomeAid Austin board member.


Learn more about Empire Communities at www.empirecommunities.com. Information about Community First! Village can be found at www.mlf.org.




About Empire Communities

Empire Communities is a residential builder/developer involved in all sectors of the new home building industry, including both low‐rise and high‐rise built forms. Celebrating over 28 years of building inspiring new places to live, Empire has an established tradition of creating prestigious award-winning new homes, communities and amenities and has earned a reputation for outstanding attention to detail and customer service. Since its inception in 1993, Empire has built over 28,000 new homes and condos. Today, Empire is one of the largest privately held homebuilders in North America with current communities in Toronto and Southwestern Ontario and the Southern United States. For more information, visit empirecommunities.com or connect on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter.


For information contact:

Haunani Shipper @ 972.415.6002

Total PR

email hshipper@totalpr.com


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Liz, Nicole and Karla

New Home Specialists


Liz, Nicole and Karla

New Home Specialists


Hi! We are your New Home Specialists. Ask us about updates on our release, model home openings, special incentives and other Empire communities information.

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