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Central Oklahoma Habitat becomes a family to buyers

In 2013, Central Oklahoma Habitat built 46 houses — 18 in Hope Landing, where a total of 206 homes have been built on the 217 lots at NE 83 and Kelley Avenue.
BY TIM FALL trfall@gmail.com Modified: December 18, 2013 at 6:36 pm •  Published: December 21, 2013

Framing a house “was amazing,” Swain said, “learning how to do that and working with such great people.”

She booked another 200 volunteer hours at a Habitat Renovation Station, where Habitat for Humanity sells new, used and vintage building materials, appliances, furniture and other household items. There is one at 1800 N Broadway just north of downtown and one at 2805 SW 29.

In the meantime, the Redwines were choosing a lot and a floor plan for their house, starting to imagine the day they would actually live there.

‘Blitz Build'

The day came sooner they had dreamed when they were selected for a “Blitz Build,” a choreographed push by volunteers — in this case, Devon Energy Corp. employees — to fast-track the construction process.

“Our regular build is three months,” said Janis Dozier, family services administrator for Central Oklahoma Habitat. “In a ‘Blitz Build' we go from framing day to move-in in as little as a month.”

With Devon Energy volunteers handling drywall, “framing, painting, even up on the roof,” the Redwines' house grew from lot, to slab, to skeleton, to new home in just under two months.

“We were so lucky,” Swain said.

Indeed, Dozier said, the “Blitz Build” is a matter of timing: When a corporate sponsor says it's ready with volunteers and cash, “we check and see which family's application is ready to go.”

House proud

The finished product is a 1,200-square foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a two-car garage.

On dedication day, 9-year-old Jesse stood by to lead tours of his new house, assisted by his brother.

The boys, who attend North Highland Elementary, have been as house proud as their parents ever since. Sharing a bedroom while finishing touches are put on the master bedroom, they sleep in bunk beds custom built by J.D.

Five-year-old Camryn, although excited to have a new house (including a perfect spot for the terrarium home of their three pet garden snakes) was even more excited about another thing: He has been assured by his parents that Santa knows his new address.