Girl power: Women build ‘Habitat’ home, work toward solutions for Central Florida housing crisis

ORLANDO, Fla. — Women in Orlando are working to build the foundation of a new home.

On Friday, Hilton Grand Vacations partnered with Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando and Osceola County for its Women Build day, in honor of International Women’s Month.


The push comes as house prices skyrocket.

“How am I going to afford stable housing moving forward?,” Ambar Velazquez asked. “It didn’t seem feasible to stay in Central Florida and Orlando.”

It has forced many people like Velazquez to decide whether they can remain local or be forced to move elsewhere.

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“I thought about maybe I need to buy land in Mount Dora, maybe I need to look to the country, maybe I need to move back to Puerto Rico,” Velazquez said.

She then found Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando and Osceola County.

Through her hard work, she was approved as a Habitat homebuyer.

With hammers, ladders, and saws, volunteers worked Friday in the Holden Heights neighborhood to put up the walls of a home that will support a family’s future.

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“We really believe everybody should have a safe place to call home,” Hannah Vazzana, Senior VP and Chief Communications Officer for Hilton Grand Vacations, said.

Branch president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity, Catherine McManus, said a day like Women Build continues to drive the program to help people attain home ownership.

“[It’s] really helping our home buyers be informed, engaged, and empowered to be not just a homeowner, but a strong and engaged community citizen,” McManus said.

It was also a day filled with lessons and hope for Velazquez, as she looks forward to her future.

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“[There’s] that willingness to come together, learn something new, to build a home, something so foundational,” Velazquez said.

Habitat is accepting applications for future buyers. Click here for more information and an application.

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