Cleveland Habitat for Humanity goes for "blitz" build - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland Habitat for Humanity goes for "blitz" build

CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -- Habitat Humanity of Cleveland is doing its part to help out with a nationwide home-building blitz. A major effort is underway to build three homes in just 72 hours.

It's quite an impressive effort as the three home sites were just slabs Thursday morning.

And for the homeowners, they say it's the chance to have true independence.

"We can only do it when the community gets involved, and that's what's happening right now," said Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland Executive Director Matt Carlson.

It's a feat never before accomplished in Bradley County. "We have never endeavored to do three homes at one time," said Charlotte Peak-Jones, president of the Ocoee Region Builders Association.

Since 2005 the association has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland to build homes for families in need.

"Our suppliers come through every year. And this year they didn't even hesitate. We said three homes, and they were like, 'ok!'," she said.

"We help families help themselves. We empower families to be able to move into homes and help build a future for their children," explained Carlson.

Delia Meroney is looking for a new start. "I've helped raise three of the four walls in my own home," she said.

A single mom who's always rented, she and her 16 year-old daughter are putting in some serious sweat equity to accomplish the dream of home ownership.

"We're very grateful for Habitat. Habitat has helped several of us that's been out here, giving us something that we never have had and we've all worked hard for," said Delia.

"It's awesome, because I actually get to know that I'm helping out and building, so," her daughter, Shelia Morris, added.

Delia and Sheila's home will be part of the "Century Village' in Cleveland. Since 2008, Habitat has been building homes here, and when complete, they will have 40 homes all filled with neighbors and a common bond.    

"And they know their neighbors because they helped build their neighbor's house, so they really build a community," notes Carlson

There's a big misconception for many who think Habitat 'gives' these homes away.

Carlson explains that potential homeowners apply to be a part of the Habitat program.  And if they qualify, go through about an 18 month process, which includes homeowner classes and about 400 hours of work on their home and other habitat homes. They then buy the house at-cost with a zero percent interest loan.

Builders hope to have the major work on this "blitz" build done by this Saturday.

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