• Habitat for Humanity begins first of 59 homes to replace dumping ground


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Habitat for Humanity is beginning work on the first of 59 homes in an Orange County neighborhood Friday.

    Foundation was poured for the first home in the Butler's Preserve neighborhood.

    Habitat for Humanity said it will be building eight homes in five days during the month of January.

    "It's been a long blighted piece of property and the end goal when Mable Butler started working on it was affordable housing, and so we’re going to make that happen," said Habitat for Humanity Jennifer Gallagher.

    Soon, a neighborhood will bloom around Bonnie Berry's home. She lives nearby and fostered six children under her roof in a Habitat for Humanity home.

    "When I drive out six years later, I still look back at my house, because I'm still happy. Habitat is a wonderful organization that does a lot of things for a lot of people," said Berry.

    The neighborhood is named after former Orange County and Orlando Commissioner Mable Butler, who fought to replace the wooded dumping ground.

    "This is a dream come true, I mean, for a very long time," Butler said.

    The new neighborhood marks Habitat for Humanity’s second effort to build a whole community. Their first was Stag Horn Villas on Silver Star Road.

    As the foundation was poured, volunteers slipped notes into the concrete block walls, messages for future generations to remind them where it all began.

    "Children are going to run out here in the yards and families are going to love their new homes," said Butler.

    The 59 homes are expected to be finished within four years.

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