It took awhile to get off the ground, but Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity's big contributions to tornado recovery are now underway — on the ground.
Framing was scheduled to start Saturday at 14608 S Hudson in far south Oklahoma City, which, along with Moore, got clobbered May 20. It's the first of six Habitat homes approved for tornado victims. Jose and Ana Herrera and their daughter, Ana, will be there to help, kicking in some of the “sweat equity” required of all Habitat homebuyers.
Continental Resources Inc. is sponsoring the Herrera home — with a $90,000 donation to Central Oklahoma Habitat — and providing volunteers.
Five other tornado-related builds also have been approved: one in Bethel Acres, one in Shawnee and three others in south Oklahoma City/Moore. The Bethel Acres home, sponsored by Oklahoma City's Crossings Community Church, will be dedicated Nov. 9. Framing on the Carney home is scheduled for Nov. 16, with the dedication about a month later.
In addition to donations from individual home sponsors, Central Oklahoma Habitat also received a $1 million gift from Hobby Lobby and shingles from Malarkey Roofing Products.
Central Oklahoma Habitat is ready to build as many as 400 homes over the next three to five years for families that lost houses in the May tornadoes. Others could be eligible for Habitat's Critical Home Repair programs.
Habitat sells safe, energy-efficient, affordable housing at cost and without interest to families that undergo an application process and meet certain requirements, such as volunteering at least 300 hours of “sweat equity.” Special arrangements — including reduced required volunteer hours — may be available for qualified applicants also affected by the tornadoes.