Three homes, one week: Habitat Blitz Build jumpstarts Vista Green project

Three teams of builders are nailing and sawing and planing their way through three Habitat for Humanity homes at the Vista Green development. The task — completely framing and roofing the three homes — would normally take Habitat volunteers a month, but for the professional build teams one week will be all they will need.

The Blitz Build as it is being called was born of necessity, says Dave Rozman, Lakeshore Habitat development director. COVID, weather, and supply chain delays have put the project behind.
COVID-19, weather, and supply chain delays necessitated a Blitz Build at the Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity-Jubilee Ministries joint Vista Green pocket neighborhood project.
Vista Green will be a pocket neighborhood on West 36th Street in Holland. It’s a joint project between Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity and Jubilee Ministries and will include 18 Habitat homes and 24 Jubilee homes. The mixed-income neighborhood will allow families who make anywhere from 30-120% of the area median income to have affordable home ownership.
Crews of construction workers will be able to frame and roof three homes in one week for Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity's Blitz Build, a task that would normally take about a month.
Need increasing

It is one of the largest projects either Habitat or Jubilee have attempted. Need for affordable housing is at an all-time high, officials say.

Vista Green is one of two large-scale projects the two nonprofits are collaborating on. On East 40th Street, Park Vista Place already has homeowners moving in, including Habitat construction site supervisor Mitch Carlson who was at the 36th Street build on Monday overseeing three crews.

Baumann Building, Inc.; Bosgraaf Homes; Mike Schaap Builders, Inc.; and Schippers Construction are sending teams to the site this week.

“We’re extra blessed and if there’s any way we can give back, then it’s a great way to build up community,” builder Seth Michmerhuizen with Schippers Construction said as he took a break from the construction on Monday afternoon.

The team at Baumann Building, Inc. were the first to commit to the Blitz Build.
“When we heard about Blitz Build, we were honored to be a part of it,” owner Mike Baumann says. “This opportunity aligns with Baumann Building’s values while providing an opportunity to invest in our local community and utilizing our expertise.”

Partnerships

Local church partners are supporting the builders with snacks and meals as they work throughout the week.
 
Future homeowners Elizabeth, Metta and Nina have already begun their partnership with Lakeshore Habitat by participating in financial literacy and homeownership classes, as well as started their sweat equity hours by helping build other Lakeshore Habitat homes or working in the Lakeshore ReStore.

“I am so, so excited – I don’t even know what to say to explain how grateful I feel for all of the community who has helped us accomplish this goal,” Elizabeth said at her home’s groundbreaking ceremony. “It’s not even a goal, it’s a dream for us that we wouldn’t have been able to do on our own. I am so grateful and thankful to you all. I hope this community will bring us closer as friends and neighbors.”
A handful of homeowners have already been selected for the Vista Green pocket neighborhood, a joint project of Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity and Jubilee Minsitries.
Those who would like to volunteer to help finish the homes or financially support Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity, can visit lakeshorehabitat.org.

Read more articles by Andrea Goodell.