ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The first new homes now stand at Southwood.

This is a big step in this project that's been years in the making, and the owners of the future mixed-income development hosted a grand opening of the first model home on Friday.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville has been the nonprofit owner, developer, and property manager of Southwood since purchasing the mobile home park in 2007.

The model home is the site of a pilot program at Southwood.

"This is a national model here and this home is representative of something that we really hold dear and that’s agency and choice,” said Dan Rosensweig, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville. “We are trying to change how affordable housing happens, whereas instead of treating people like subjects or wards, we treat them like adults and partners and this is the first step toward that."

Construction on 18 more homes is now underway and 29 more are scheduled to begin this year.