By Allison Westlake
Ten families have a new place to call home thanks to the 12th Annual Habitat for Humanity Home Builders Blitz.
The Blitz is a combined effort between Habitat for Humanity Greater Birmingham, the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders and community sponsors, including Alabama Power. Nine local, private homebuilders began work on Oct. 12 alongside local construction crews, skilled laborers and volunteers. In just one week, they built 10 homes for families in need, dedicating the complete homes Thursday.
Homebuilders and Habitat worked together to organize the event, get donations of materials and raise funds. Habitat provides architectural plans for each house, while sponsors donate meals throughout the week for all volunteers. Adding to the value of the build, each home is all-electric, achieving an Energy Star rating.
Alabama Power donated electric hot water heaters for each home to increase energy efficiency.
“All of these homes are total-electric and Energy Star-certified. Energy-efficient homes such as these provide homeowners with a more comfortable living space and, most importantly, affordable energy bills,” said Jill Sills, Birmingham Division market specialist who led Alabama Power’s efforts this year.
Alabama Power provided lunch for volunteers and crew members one day. Employees quickly installed electrical service to each home as company volunteers participated in the build all week.
“It gives us a chance to support our local homebuilders and support the community at the same time,” Sills said.
Harris Doyle Homes has been part of the Habitat Blitz for the past 10 years.
“We look forward to being a part of it every year as it is a great way to give back to our community,” said Peyton Rogers, vice president of construction for Harris Doyle Homes. “It allows us to be a part of this great organization as well as lets our employees get connected with our subcontractors and see what we do every day in homebuilding.”
“The Home Builders Blitz requires us to have lots of community partners,” said Charles Moore, Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity president and CEO. “We have homebuilders who work with us as well as other companies and individuals who volunteer. Alabama Power has been out for all the 12 years we have done this. Many other companies provide lunches, breakfasts and volunteers to help. It takes a lot of people to do this. On the first day of the blitz, we have somewhere between 300 to 400 people on the site. It is truly a team effort.”
This is the second year of the Blitz in the East Lake community, where Habitat has acquired 19 acres.
“We did the Home Builders Blitz here last year with 13 houses and this year we are building 10 houses. Soon, this entire block will be developed with nice, new, affordable housing for families to enjoy for a lifetime,” Moore said.
Thursday’s dedication ceremony and presentation of the keys honored all the new homeowners, who worked alongside volunteers with “sweat equity” in building their homes.
For more information about Habitat for Humanity, visit the website at www.habitat.org.