Affordable housing is a problem in just about every city these days. One group that is hit especially hard is veterans. According to an article in builderonline.com, “A study by The Rand Corp. and Military Family Action Network reveals that 4 million veterans are considered housing cost-burdened and 1.5 million are living below the poverty line.” Pulte Homes, which is currently building the new Del Webb Southern Harmony 55+ Community in Murfreesboro, completed a mortgage-free home for a local veteran just last year.
“Our company’s Built to Honor® program, that began in 2011 with a single home donated by our Dallas division, has grown into a national program through which we have now awarded 75 homes to deserving veterans and their families,” said PulteGroup President and CEO Ryan Marshall in the builderonline.com article.
In May of last year, Army Specialist Christopher Lewis and his family of five were gifted a mortgage-free home through Pulte’s Built to Honor Program in partnership with the non-profit organization Building Homes for Heroes®. Pulte Group’s Built to Honor® program recognizes and thanks returning military personnel who have been injured during their term of service by providing mortgage-free homes to them and their families. Launched nationally in 2013, the program has built and donated more than 75 homes across the country. Built to Honor works in partnership with nonprofit organizations to identify veteran candidates. For more information about Built to Honor, go to builttohonor.org or Facebook.com/BuiltToHonor.
Lewis was injured by an IED when serving in Iraq. The explosion caused traumatic brain injury causing the temporary loss of his hearing and sight. Later scans showed scarring that has severely affected his memory. He also suffers from PTSD and various physical ailments.
“Serving for 10 years as the fifth generation of his family to enlist,” said the builderonline.com article, “he is the recipient of the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Good Conduct Medal, NATO Medal, National Defense Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon.”
Said Lewis in the same article after spending the first night in his new, two-level, single-family home with more than 2,700 square feet, five bedrooms and three bathrooms, “It’s rare I wake up immediately in a good mood, but today I am in an amazing mood. It finally hit me realizing where I was, HOME! … THANK YOU all so much for what you’ve done for my family and me. I’ll never be able say that enough.”
An article on Nasdaq.com states, “This [was] the first home dedicated in the greater Nashville area … The home is being awarded in partnership with Building Homes for Heroes®, a national non-profit organization strongly committed to rebuilding lives and supporting the brave men and women who were injured while serving the country during the time of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.”
Building Homes for Heroes® began after founder Andy Pujol helped search and rescue teams after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. After witnessing those horrors, he vowed to help the brave men and women who fought to defend our freedom in the aftermath of those attacks and beyond. Pujol started by building a single home for a single veteran. Since that time, with the help of many volunteers and businesses, the organization has set a goal of reaching 343 homes by Sept. 11, 2023 in honor of the 343 FDNY firefighters who died on 9/11, and their milestone 400th home by 2024.
PulteGroup, Inc., based in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of America’s largest homebuilding companies with operations in more than 40 markets throughout the country. Through its brand portfolio that includes Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes, American West and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, the company is one of the industry’s most versatile homebuilders. They will be opening their Del Webb’s Southern Harmony 55+ community in Murfreesboro in Spring 2024. It will be located at located at 7079 Franklin Road in Murfreesboro.