Builders team up for HabitatWritten by Myndi Milliken | | firstname.lastname@example.org
For seven days in June, builders from the Toledo area will erect seven homes for Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity. When they are done, seven families will have the opportunity to become homeowners.
The project is part of a national effort to build 1,000 homes (300 of those in hurricane-ravaged areas) in seven days for Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit organization that helps provide affordable housing to those who could not otherwise build a new home. The event is scheduled for June 5-9, Homeownership Week for HUD.
Tim Schlachter, of Buckeye Homes, credits Sam Irmen, former The Andersons executive, with bringing the Blitz Build idea to Toledo. ”He had witnessed a Blitz Build in North Carolina and came back on fire to get the idea done,” Schlachter said. ”He presented it about three years ago, but Habitat didn’t have the lots for it.”
About 14 professional builders and a handful of businesses will donate time, supplies and money to meet the challenge of the Blitz Build.
”This is a little different than the typical Habitat build,” said Greg Dodge, of New Homes and Homesites.com. ”This is a group of professional builders, where normally the Habitat builds consist mostly of volunteers.”
The subdivision where the homes will be built, off Angola Road in Spencer Township, was owned by the County and sat dormant until the 1990s, when Habitat purchased the lots. The Blitz Build will be the second phase of the project to install Habitat housing.
”It’s a great location because there’s a community center right in the neighborhood,” said B.J. Fischer, a member of the project’s steering committee. ”For daycare and things [the new homeowners] will need, these services are accessible.”
Schlachter said some builders have donated their time in the past to Habitat and this is a way to get new builders involved.
”We were able to get core builders who had worked on Habitat homes and paired them with builders who have not been involved,” Schlachter said. ”The idea is to teach them the process so they can do their own Habitat homes down the road.”
”One of the things that is exciting is that this is a national effort,” Fischer said. ”The builders are donating their time, a lot of the materials are being donated, and builders are working with their own suppliers to get more donated.”
Fischer said nothing like this has ever been done in the Toledo area.
”We hope to help bring the public’s attention to this cause as well,” he said.