Chipola Area Habitat for Humanity partners with Chipola College and Auburn University Rural Studio to build new homes

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MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — The Chipola Area Habitat for Humanity along with Chipola College and Auburn University’s Rural Studio, held a groundbreaking ceremony for four new houses on Thursday.

Tracee Tanner is one of the first recipients of a new home on Chipola Street in Marianna.

“God has been, he has really turned my life around,” Tanner said. “This has been — just such a blessing. I can’t even describe exactly how I feel today.”

Tanner said she is looking forward to decorating her new home with her daughter.

“We’re going to get some furniture and re-do furniture together and just some fun stuff like that,” Tanner said.

Representatives from the different organizations said the homes are about so much more than a safe structure for people to live in.

“We just feel like these are building blocks,” said Workforce and Economic Development Dean for Chipola College, Darwin Gilmore. “These are economic development building blocks that begin to put things back together and we want it to be better than it was prior.”

Rusty Smith, Auburn University’s Rural Studio Associate Director, said he is looking forward to helping Jackson County build back better.

“Those four houses are gonna have four homeowners, and those four homeowners are gonna have four voices and that’s for us kinda one of the most powerful things homeownership can do is bring additional voices to a community,” Smith said.

The four houses are expected to be completed by Fall of this year.

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