The Ocoee Region Builders Association is giving back to the community through its annual Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland “blitz build.”
This year’s house will be built in the South Gate Hills Habitat subdivision.
“With ORBA being here ... what they do on a yearly basis with us ... they get a lot of work done in a short amount of time,” said Habitat executive director Matt Carlson.
Last year, ORBA partnered to frame and roof three homes.
A typical home takes 12 weeks for Habitat to build. The home of James and Tabatha Peels with be “under roof” in two days if the weather permits, according to Charlotte Peak-Jones.
“We call it a three day (project) in case it rains,” Peak-Jones said.
Between 15 to 20 ORBA volunteers will contribute to the project.
“Construction companies we usually make money when we do this, but its always good to give back to the community,” Peak-Jones said. “We like to give back. We like to see these home owners when they get their key.”
The structure is the future home of James and Tabatha and their 1 1/2-year-old son. The family has been working with habitat for a year to get to this point. Tabatha said the family has begun working on their volunteer hours and attending required financial classes.
She said it is “awesome” to see the slab foundation completed.
“It feels really good knowing that we’ll have a good place to live for our son,” James said.
The couple will be working alongside the construction volunteers contributing to their home. James and Tabatha have also been able to help build her mom Mary Gibson’s Habitat home. Tabatha said they heard about the organization through her mother.
The Peels’ home, like the others in South Gate Hills subdivision, will meet EnergyStar standards.
Peak-Jones said this makes the construction process slightly different.
Energy Star homes are built on a concrete slab, have better insulation and energy-efficient windows.
The special windows will not arrive in time for the ORBA team to install them as part of the blitz build.
Carlson said the subdivision will include 25 homes when it is completed.
“We are going to have a community park in the middle. It is going to be a beautiful subdivision,” Carlson said.
Family advocate Sue Burger said she has been with the couple with each step. Burger said she was a part of the committee that decided whether the family had a need for a Habitat house.
“They definitely had a need,” Burger said. “We look at the home they are [currently] in. Is it safe? Do they have heat? What are the walls and the structure like, the windows? ... Do they have a place where they can lay their heads down at night and feel good when they wake up the next morning?”
Habitat for Humanity homeowners have an interest-free mortage and are required to complete 300 to 500 volunteer hours.