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The cost of Austin-area living is also costing housing helpers

Record-high housing prices are now squeezing out the very ones trying to help.

AUSTIN, Texas — Homeownership is the American dream, but it's becoming more of a fantasy for the average Austin family.  And now, the very people working to help make affordable homes are being forced out.

Since 1985, Austin's Habitat for Humanity has built more than 500 affordable homes for first-time homeowners, like Loana. 

"I'm so excited, I can see my kids playing soccer," she said as she looked outside of her new home, which she'll move into in the next few weeks.

It's all possible because of the hundreds of volunteers coming together to help their fellow Texans. And leading and teaching the volunteers has been Garrett Robinson. 

"We're working on seven houses at one time," he explained, "and we're flying through." 

Over the years, he's seen his hard work blossom into a neighborhood. 

"You get to see the families," he said, "see the kids playing basketball and living and enjoying the homes that they put so much effort into."

And while Robinson was putting so much effort into making homes more affordable, he became a casualty of the very thing he was trying to fix – skyrocketing rent – knowing he and his wife would never realize that American dream. At least, not in Austin.

Robinson had to pack up and move east, where he will continue building for those in need. He'll continue helping others realize their dreams, while he searches for a place where he can afford his own.

To put the cost into perspective, federal government data shows the average Austin worker makes $45,000 a year. The Austin Board of Realtors says in April, the average home price in the city skyrocketed to an all-time high of $624,000. 

If you'd like to help build affordable homes with Habitat for Humanity, here's a link where you can sign up.

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