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Habitat project delayed

In a project originally set to begin this week, Escambia County Habitat for Humanity officials have said the plan to build the home has been delayed.

A fortified safe home is the next building project of the Escambia County Habitat for Humanity organization and Canisha Stewart’s family will be making it their home on Dacus Street..

Alecia Glaize, director of HFH, said the project was expected to kick off with the first workday planned last Friday, however that start date has been pushed back due to the certification process.

“This home is being build to ‘fortified for safer living gold standards’ and that is requiring additional certification processes,” Glaize said. “This program’s standards are designed to increase a home’s resistance to whatever natural hazards threaten the area where the house is located. In our case, that’s hurricane force winds. In order to meet these standards, we have had to submit the house plans to a longer certification process, which has delayed our original start date.”

Glaize said the local Habitat organization is working with other groups to ensure the home meets all the requirements based on homeowner’s insurance standards.

“We will be building a design created by the Auburn School of Architecture,” Glaize said. “Two of our volunteers, Doug Norsworthy and Durwood Mantel, spent some time at a training seminar to learn about how to build a house that meets those standards. There will be extra inspections for this home and we have to document the building process to prove that we have built the house to meet the standards and receive that special certification.”

Previous homes built by HFH have been on concrete slabs, but Glaize said the new design will require a different foundation for the home.

“This house will be a little more labor intensive since it will be built off the ground,” Glaize said. “We will have to work to install the floor system before the walls can go up. There are more things to consider in this kind of building project. The concrete pilings will be set and there will be a lot of anchoring done to make sure the home stays on the foundation.”

Glaize said a $20,000 grant has been awarded to this project by Traveler’s Insurance Company to aid with additional costs involved in making the home certified as safe.

The 1500 square foot, three bedroom, one and a half bath home is a little larger than most Habitat Homes. This home will be built on Dacus Street and Glaize said she expects the project to take about six weeks to complete.

“We realize this build is going to be in the middle of the summer and we plan on adjusting our work days because of the heat,” Glaize said. “Typically, our work days had been from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but due to heat issues we’ve had in the past, we’ll be working earlier and shorter days.”

Although skilled labor is always a premium on Habitat projects, Glaize said volunteers are still needed for the upcoming project.

“We still need volunteers, but this build will require a little more on-site supervision,” Glaize said. “What we’d like to see are groups of people making a commitment to help with the project. Maybe an area football team could sign up as a group volunteer for this project. Church groups, men, women, skilled, unskilled — we need everyone who is willing to help to join us on this project.”

Glaize said volunteers from New Beginnings Ministries have already signed up to work on this project for the Stewart family.

Anyone interested in volunteering to assist with the project can call HFH’s office and pre-register. Contact Glaize at 867-0095 for more information or to find out how you can help.