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The Voice of the Black Community


Builders Blitz adds 2 new Durham homeowners
Published Tuesday, June 25, 2019
by Mick Schulte, Correspondent

DURHAM – In only seven days, Durham gained two new houses and homeowners thanks to the annual Habitat for Humanity Builders Blitz event. From June 14-21, BuildSense and Durham Building Company (DBC) partnered with Durham Habitat and worked day and night throughout the week to build two affordable homes on previously empty lots.

The Builders Blitz began with a kickoff event on June 14 where Mayor Steve Schewel and Durham Habitat Executive Director Blake Strayhorn helped raise the first wall of one of the homes. They also addressed a crowd of supporters and emphasized the need for more Durham affordable housing.

“Durham is growing rapidly, and with that, there is a great need for affordable housing for working families,” Strayhorn said. “The Home Builders Blitz enables us to make a tangible and immediate impact by completing the construction of these two affordable homes in a single week.”

 Habitat for Humanity of Wake County initiated the Builders Blitz idea in 2002, and it has been a national event ever since, providing more than 2,000 family homes. The amount of houses Durham Habitat has built during the week has varied throughout the years, with the most being seven two-story homes in a cul-de-sac.

The homeowners who eventually move into the homes put in a certain amount of “sweat equity” and work alongside the professional builders who donate their time and materials.

Tasha Johnson couldn’t hold back tears during the dedication ceremony at the end of the Builders Blitz week. She and her young children were living in a one-bedroom apartment. Then, due to occupancy regulations, Johnson was forced to move to a bigger, more expensive space. She applied for a Durham Habitat home seeking financial stability and an opportunity to save money. “I’m tired of throwing my money away on rent,” Johnson said. “I want to be able to do more for my children.”

Johnson, along with Tameka Evans, hugged and thanked the people who made their homeownership dreams come true, including city workers, builders, subcontractors, volunteers and neighbors.

“We are truly grateful for our partnerships with BuildSense and Durham Building Company, as we build much-needed affordable housing in Durham,” Strayhorn said. “At Durham Habitat, we believe all of our neighbors deserve a safe, decent and affordable place to call home.”

To learn more, visit www.durhamhabitat.org.



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