Jacksonville's HabiJax "SuperBuild" Dedicates Homes For SuperBowl XXXIX

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Jacksonville Field Office Director Nick Shelley joined Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, NFL and Jacksonville city officials, along with former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp - who once played quarterback for the National Football League's Buffalo Bills and is now on Habitat for Humanity International's board of directors - for an NFL-sanctioned Super Bowl event where they congratulated thirty-nine new homeowners and thanked volunteers and sponsors who helped build new homes for Habitat families.

[Photo 1: Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton and coworkers at the dedication of the 39 new NFL-sponsored Habitat homes]
Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton (left) joined (R � L) Jacksonville Jaguars co-owner, Delores Barr-Weaver HUD Jacksonville Office Director, Nick Shelley, and HabiJax Chair, Bruce Andrews at the dedication of the 39 new NFL-sponsored Habitat homes.

Thirty-nine homes were built in 39 days during the Jacksonville "SuperBuild." A number of current NFL players were on-hand to help the Davis family move furniture into their new home, which the NFL Charities helped finance.

Founded in 1976, Habitat has built more than 175,000 houses around the world, providing over 750,000 people in more than 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter. There are more than 2,100 active affiliates in 100 countries, including all 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Last year, Habitat (HHI) built more than 150,000 homes, ranking third in new home production in the entire U.S.

[Photo 2: NFL players help move the Davis' family furniture into their new home]
NFL players Mo Williams (#76) of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneer Derrick Brooks (#55) helped move the Davis' family furniture into their new home.

Jacksonville's Habitat � "HabiJax" � an HHI affiliate since 1988, has built more than 1,250 affordable homes in Jacksonville for hard-working, motivated buyers who lack the means to qualify for conventional mortgages. In fact, HabiJax is HHI's most prolific affiliate in the country based on its construction volume. On the impact of HabiJax in Jacksonville, Mayor John Peyton said, where homeownership flourishes, neighborhoods are more stable, schools are better, crime rates decline and residents are more civic-minded."

Would-be homeowners are selected because of need, willingness to contribute "sweat equity" toward the construction of their own and neighbors' homes and ability to repay a zero-interest loan for the exact cost of their home. Mortgage payments are deposited into a revolving fund for future loans, and public- and private sector contributions help defray land acquisition and construction costs.

[Photo 3: Volunteers pictured with HUD Jacksonville Office Director, Nick Shelley]
Pictured with HUD Jacksonville Office Director, Nick Shelley, the City of Jacksonville Department of Community Services' Juvenile Correction Program provided many needed volunteers for the NFL-HabiJax' SuperBUILD XXXIX's 39 homes in 39 days.

These combined resources helps reduce the price of a Habitat home, making it more "affordable" for families who otherwise would have to rent.

Jacksonville's "HabiJax" volunteers come from numerous corporate, community and faith-based sponsors. Several employees from the local HUD Office have also participated in HabiJax "builds" over the past few years and have worked side-by-side with former President Jimmy Carter, his wife Rosalyn, and former HUD Secretaries Jack Kemp and Mel Martinez.

The Department provides financial support to HHI through the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) and others.

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