Habitat for Humanity to build 4 homes in a week

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EL CAJON, Calif. -- Around 400 volunteers Monday began helping Habitat for Humanity with a home-building blitz in San Diego's East County, hoping to construct four houses in five days for needy families.

The effort is being supported in part by a $50,000 donation from the foundation of auto racing champion Jimmie Johnson, which was matched by the Lowe's home improvement store chain. Johnson, an El Cajon native, is scheduled to appear at the site Tuesday.

Habitat for Humanity in 2009 built a couple of 1,300-square-foot houses on Foundation Lane in El Cajon, and these next four are being constructed on the same street. By late morning Monday, the framing was completed on the first floor of one of the structures.

"There's a made scramble to build [a house] in five days…. It's quite the organized chaos," a builder told FOX5.

The project also received financial support from the city of El Cajon and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Balfour Beatty Construction, Clark Construction, McCarthy Builders and RQ Construction are helping out with the effort, according to Habitat for Humanity.

The new homes will be sold to families who qualify according to Habitat for Humanity's selection criteria -- which includes a demonstrated need for improved housing, the ability to repay an affordable mortgage and willingness to put in 250-500 hours of "sweat equity'' by working on their homes and residences of other Habitat families.

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