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Habitat, Aubuchon to speed-build home

By Staff | Jun 1, 2017

Habitat for Humanity is getting ready to build a home for someone who can’t wait to move into a house she may not have otherwise been able to afford.

In fact, they are ready to get her into her home quickly, as Habitat and Aubuchon Homes will build Cape Coral’s first Home Builders Blitz house, which will take one week to build from start to finish.

On Thursday, they got together at Aubuchon Homes administrative offices in Cape Coral for a kickoff party that brought together the two groups, as well as local building partners and the Habitat recipient family.

The Home Builders Blitz has been going on nationally at Habitat for years, with 150 built last year alone. The program now will come to Cape Coral for the first time ever, according to Becky Sanders-Lucas, vice president of community outreach for Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties.

“It’s something we’ve always wanted to do. We were thinking how we can work with our local home builders in order to build an additional home,” Sanders-Lucas said. “Gary Aubuchon is on our board and is a huge proponent for affordable housing. We went to him with this idea.”

Aubuchon got his contractors together to commit to this project, which will be built near Santa Barbara Boulevard and Pine Island Road, and Habitat gave him the floor plans to build the home that is expected to get started at 8 a.m. on Saturday and be finished in one week, during national Home Builders Blitz Week.

“Aubuchon is amazingly ambitious and efficient. They saw what we wanted and came up with a plan on how to get it done,” Sanders-Lucas said.

Jim Aubuchon, a partner who runs the construction side of the business, has carefully orchestrated how the home will be built.

“We have it scheduled and hopefully the city will partner with us and will get inspectors out there and we’re really excited about it,” Jim Aubuchon said. “Hopefully, it will work the way we have it planned.”

All that’s there now is a slab. Aubuchon has pre-built the walls at the Habitat shop in North Fort Myers. The hope is to have it ready for a roof finished late Saturday for inspection early Monday, Sanders-Lucas said.

“The walls are on the site, so come Saturday we’ll have a Habitat team that will lead us and have them build the house together with them,” Aubuchon said. “Once we get the walls up we’ll get the trusses up and have the roof done by Saturday night.”

More than two dozen companies will come in during the week to do their jobs, with the last piece being the carpet installation late Saturday.

Rubie Costa, a single mother with three children, is the recipient of the house, and will do much of her sweat equity by helping out the entire week. Costa, who works at a restaurant and currently lives with her mother in a small house in St. James City with her kids, got the week off from work to be able to help.

She also took her classes and came up with the $1,700 in closing costs required to be a candidate.

“It’s kind of mind blowing,” Costa said. “Starting Saturday it will be blood, sweat and tears of joy, going into putting this all together with family, friends and a community of people. It will be amazing.”

The housewarming celebration will happen the following week, on June 17.