GOHBA co-ordinates Blitz Build to raise $250,000 for Habitat for Humanity


            Volunteers to construct Barrhaven home in three days

Ottawa Construction News staff writer

The Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association (GOHBA) is co-ordinating an ambitious three-day Blitz Build in early April to raise $250,000 for enable Habitat for Humanity National Capital Region to provide affordable housing for families that would not otherwise be able to afford their own homes.

The initiative – in which hundreds of tradespeople and Algonquin College students will descend on a Tartan Homes lot in Barrhaven from April 4 to 6 – will result in a “jewel of a home” constructed to 99 per cent completion in just three days, says GOHBA executive director John Herbert.  The home will be then sold for market value, and the difference between the hard costs and the selling price will be contributed to Habitat.

Organizers are seeking donations of supplies or services, or their provision at cost.  This includes the land, a serviced lot in Havencrest that Tartan Homes is providing at a dramatically reduced price, along with plans for the company’s Lindsey model, a popular three-bedroom, two-storey house.  Laurysen Kitchens has donated the kitchen, Kott Lumber is contributing roofing and wall panels, and Merkley Supply is also contributing supplies.

Tartan will also contribute its work crews.  Organizers expect there may be upwards of 400 tradespeople and students on site for the intense construction project.

Algonquin College construction trades students will have the opportunity to get some hands-on experience.

“Forging new connections between the college and community groups like Habitat for Humanity and the GOHBA provides our students and employees with opportunities to learn and give back,” says Algonquin College president Kent MacDonald. “We are thrilled to be participating in this very important fundraiser, benefiting an outstanding organization. We are especially excited to be creating this opportunity for our students to have a service learning experience and to build strong ties to their community before graduating.”

“Blitz Builds are a Habitat for Humanity tradition across North America and we’re thrilled to join forces with GOHBA and Algonquin College for three days of intense building and camaraderie,” says George Hendry, Habitat NCR’s interim CEO. “All of the funds raised will help us build more homes and make the dream of homeownership a reality for hard-working, low-income families in our community.”

Habitat for Humanity chair Ken Merkley said: “This is an excellent program because builders often don’t get a good rap in the community. They do a lot. They employ a lot of people.”

The GOHBA and Habitat hope the project will be repeated in coming years. “If all goes well, we hope to do it again every two or three years,” Herbert said.

If you wish to contribute cash or materials, call Herbert at the GOHBA (613) 723-2926 or Valerie Newton at Habitat for Humanity (613) 749-9950.


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