JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Habitat for Humanity could soon build a dozen new homes in Johnson City.

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners took the first steps to approve the project at its Thursday meeting.

The plan calls for the city to give land on Moorland Drive near John Exum Parkway to Habitat for Humanity.

Holston Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Laura Kelly said that plans for the project also include a community park and a playground.

She said that the project comes at a time when affordable housing is much needed.

“In Washington County alone, one out of every four families can’t afford the home that they own,” Kelly said.

During the Johnson City Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioner Jenny Brock said that it’s important to have housing available for those who work in the city.

“We absolutely have to have more housing,” Brock said. “It has to be addressed so that people who do the mainstay of the work in this city have places to live.”

There are still steps that need to be taken before the plan is made final. Kelly said that several readings and a public hearing are required.

“We will now go through three readings and a public hearing,” Kelly said. “There will be more opportunity for the community to hear why this project is a great fit for that area.”

There has recently been pushback from neighbors regarding the project and the deed to the land. Kelly assured that the twelve new homes will improve what’s already a strong community.

“I think by working together we can make that area of town even stronger than it already is,” Kelly said.

A date has not been set for the first reading of the plan.