COLUMBUS, Ga. — Habitat for Humanity is laying the groundwork for its largest construction project yet, a blitz build of thousands of homes along the Gulf Coast for people left homeless by Hurricane Katrina.
Operation Home Delivery is expected to start later this month in Jackson, Miss., where volunteers will assemble housing frames and put them on trucks bound for Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, the organization said.
About 30 volunteers per house will then do a blitz build, constructing each house in about a week.
More than $450,000 in donations has already poured in for the project, and more is expected.
Former President Carter, a Georgia native who has volunteered as a builder with Habitat for Humanity for more than 20 years, said this was the nonprofit organization's most important mission yet in the United States.
"Hurricane Katrina may be second only to the Asian tsunami in the amount of devastation, destruction and human suffering," Carter said.
"And just as with the tsunami, unprecedented destruction and suffering calls for an outpouring of generous response," Carter said.
Typically, Habitat for Humanity builds 1,200-square-foot homes with three bedrooms and one bathroom.
Costs for Operation Home Delivery are expected to average $66,000 per home, the organization said.
"These are not mansions by any means, but to the homeowners, they will be palaces," said Jonathan Reckford, Habitat's chief executive officer.