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Sandy Hopkins is the CEO of Habitat for Humanity’s Manitoba chapter. (CBC) Volunteers are busy at work Monday as Habitat for Humanity begins its "blitz build," an ambitious effort to construct 25 homes in Manitoba over the next week.

The organization plans to build 150 homes nationwide from July 9-14 — including 21 homes in Winnipeg, two in Brandon and two in Portage la Prairie — in commemoration of Canada 150.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter, longtime supporters of the not-for-profit organization, will visit Winnipeg on Thursday to take part in the project. It will be the second time the Carters have travelled to Winnipeg for a build.

"It’s a great honour," said Habitat for Humanity CEO Sandy Hopkins. "Very unusual for them to return somewhere, and so for them to be in our city twice is a blessing for us."

Hopkins said Carter wanted to come to Winnipeg because of Habitat for Humanity’s commitment to provide 40 per cent of the homes in Manitoba to people.

"That was very intriguing to the Carters, so they committed to come back to Canada to be part of the national celebration and the recognition of the need for housing for Indigenous families," Hopkins said.

"They work very hard when they are on the site. They are not there for photo ops. It’s remarkable, the commitment and energy of that couple."

About 500 volunteers were present Monday at the Habitat for Humanity build site in St. James. The neighbourhood will remain the site of 16 homes, while five will be taken to foundations in other parts of Winnipeg.Families who are approved to get Habitat for Humanity homes agree to put in 500 hours of construction labour and then buy homes with zero per cent mortgages. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were in Edmonton on […]

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