• Habitat for Humanity builds 8 Orlando homes in 5 days


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Eight Orlando families are celebrating after receiving the keys to their new homes Saturday.

    Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando built the homes at Butler’s Preserve on Willie Mays Parkway in five days.

    They hope to add more homes to the neighborhood in the next few years.

    The homes are part of the organization’s Home Builder Blitz project.

    A Habitat for Humanity home typically takes about six to eight months to build. But one of the homes that started with just a concrete slab Monday morning had windows and a roof by the afternoon.

    “This is amazing for these families. It typically takes us eight months start to finish,” said Jennifer Gallagher of Habitat for Humanity.

    Builders worked from sunrise to sunset each day to make sure the homes were completed on time.

    Butler's Preserve is in the Washington Shores community. When it is complete, it will have 59 homes, according to officials.

    Former Orange County Commissioner Mable Butler pushed for the area to become affordable housing decades ago.

    “I’m so full of joy because what I wanted is here,” Butler said.

    Her joy spread to the families moving in to the new homes. Residents said the new community is a symbol of hope for those who may not be able to afford a home the traditional way.

    “I can’t describe the feeling that’s inside me. It’s like joy is just shooting up through me. The excitement is overwhelming,” said one of the home recipients, Tanya Rutland.

    The structures range from two to five bedroom homes, all specialized for their new owners.

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