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 September 28, 2013 marked the completion of one of the most ambitious building projects the Cape has seen in years. Known as Blitz Build HB&RACC is comprised primarily of Cape residents, workers, and businesses. The organization and its members fulfilled their commitment of 100% sponsorship by donating time, craftsmanship, materials, and resources to the Orleans project. Where the association was low in resources, fundraising efforts were undertaken with local businesses and philanthropists, and supplies and donations of all kinds were secured. The Cape community quite simply “delivered in every way,” adds Goldsmith.

“Habitat participated in planning efforts,” Goldsmith says, “but the heavy lifting and resources were handled by the leading members of the HB&RACC and their construction specialists.” Overall, the project took about eight months of planning and coordination prior to the actual construction, work that involved creating detailed timelines, coordinating inspections and fundraising.

The Blitz Build project brought about some notable collaborative efforts. For example, competitors like Andersen Windows and Harvey Windows pitched in to outfit the new home. Another Cape company, Shepley Wood Products, stands out for the multiple ways it contributed. Not only did Shepley donate building materials, the company also dedicated manpower and the use of its Hyannis facility for the staging and storing of materials. Rich Bryant of Cape Associates, Inc., and a key member of the Blitz Build Planning Committee, tells of the good mood and organized chaos painting crews from several different companies shared while working side-by-side and “bumping elbows” in tight quarters.

During the home’s emotional dedication ceremony on September 28, Bob Ryley, Habitat Cape Cod’s construction director, commented on the successful effort. “What a week,” Ryley said to those on hand. “It’s been like a controlled free-for-all. We finally got to pull the ripcord and everything was functioning.” The project was quite the feat considering the amount of coordination and synchronization required to build a house in just one week, especially with resources coming—literally—from dozens of different places.

Nearly 50 local companies and individuals contributed to the project. More than 60 Cape companies donated supplies and well over 100 locals offered support through donations and in-kind contributions.

Truro resident, Daniel Murphy, a retired contractor who works for the National Parks Service, was happy to participate and volunteered for the week as a site supervisor. “I never saw a house go up so fast,” Murphy says. “It’s plumb, true, and square; that’s industry lingo for a top-quality project.”

The Blitz Build focused attention on the importance of resolving affordable housing issues through community involvement. Before plans for the project were finalized, though, the Orleans community had already taken steps to address the issue of a lack of affordable housing here on the Cape. At a special Town Meeting in 2010, Orleans voters approved the expenditure of $615,000 of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding to purchase the land for this development, and cover some infrastructure costs.

“It’s a great day for the town of Orleans,” Julia Enroth, chair of the Orleans CPA Committee,” says. “[Ultimately,] it was the town that unanimously voted in support of this.”

Peter Kimball, a member of the Blitz Build planning committee and president of AP Kimball Construction of Yarmouthport, sums up the entire experience. “Although it only took five days to put this house together,” Kimball says, “ it took much more to build it.”

 September 28, 2013 marked the completion of one of the most ambitious building projects the Cape has seen in years. Known as Blitz Build

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