Homeownership is a big part of The American Dream. At Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, we are a proud partner with individuals and families who are living in substandard housing conditions who want a safe and comfortable place to call home.
In just seven short days from April 14th to the 21st, Knoxville Habitat for Humanity and more than a thousand volunteers will come together to build six houses from the ground up and establish the second phase of Silver Leaf, Habitat for Humanity’s third subdivision in Knox County.
An estimated 1,400 volunteers will log 10,000+ man hours over the course of the next week to complete the homes, which have transformed the 15 acres of formerly blighted property on Skyline Drive in East Knoxville into a subdivision of new Habitat for Humanity homes.
During the six-house blitz build, volunteers will work on site each day from 7:30 a.m. until approximately 4 p.m. Starting only with a concrete slab for each house, the volunteers will build the homes to completion, from exterior and interior walls to trusses and roofing – even cabinetry and paint.
The blitz build will culminate with a large dedication ceremony at the site planned for 11 a.m. on April 21st, when the families and the volunteers will unite with community leaders and special guests. The families will be presented the keys to their homes along with other housewarming gifts.
This is the second year Knoxville Habitat for Humanity has held its multi-house blitz in Silver Leaf. The organization purchased the property for its Silver Leaf subdivision in 2010 from Tennessee State Bank, which had foreclosed on it in 2004. Until 2010, the land had been used as an illegal dumping ground for tires, oil barrels, gas tanks and other assorted garbage and toxic materials, which created an eyesore and potential health risks for the surrounding neighborhood.
“Our annual multi-house blitz build is always a rewarding time because the satisfaction of seeing the tangible benefits resulting from the hard work of our homeowners and volunteers,” said Kelle Shultz, President and CEO of Knoxville Habitat for Humanity. “It’s a win/win for both groups – and for the citizens of Knoxville and Knox County will reap the benefits of one less blighted property with the added benefit of approximately $53,000 added to the annual tax base when the subdivision is completed.”
Funding for the 2012 Blitz Build comes from 12 sponsors who provide the financial support and the volunteers. The Covenant Partners for this year’s build include 2nd Presbyterian Church; Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church; Tom and Mindi Coulter; Knoxville Catholic High School; Kroger; law firm Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C.; Phi Alpha Delta; Pilot/Flying J; UT Interfraternity Council; UT Panhellenic Council; Wells Fargo Advisors; and Woolf McClane.
Knoxville Habitat for Humanity selects homeowners for the program based upon their need for housing, their ability to pay the no-interest mortgage, and their willingness to perform 500 hours of sweat equity. Families earn the hours by attending budgeting and homeowner classes and working alongside volunteers to build their homes and/or the homes of other Habitat families. The families can move into their new homes once their 500 hours are completed.