First-Time Homeowners Receive Keys to Water-Conserving Homes

Homeowners receiving keys to their new homesLeft: First-time homeowners receive Florida Water StarSM Gold plaques, certificates and keys to their new homes. Center: District Governing Board Member Maritza Rovira-Forino speaks about the Florida Water Star℠ Gold program before presenting plaques and certificates to new homeowners. Right: One of the six certified Florida Water Star℠ Gold homes in the Hidden Creek community in Hillsborough County.

Six families recently received the keys to their affordable, water-conserving homes that they helped each other build in the Hidden Creek community in Hillsborough County.

In coordination with the Florida Home Partnership, Inc. (FHP), the District certified these homes as part of the Florida Water Star℠ Gold (FWSG) program. This voluntary certification program for builders encourages water efficiency in household appliances, plumbing fixtures, irrigation systems and landscapes.

FHP is a not-for-profit housing developer that provides affordable housing opportunities for first-time homebuyers through “sweat equity” and the USDA Mutual Self-Help Housing Program. The families recently contributed months of work to help build the six new homes.

“We want to help our clients build homes that save water, both for their own cost savings and for the benefit of the environment. Signing on to Florida Water Star℠ Gold is evidence of our commitment to efficient, green building standards,” said Eileen Burke, FHP administrative coordinator.

The families were welcomed by representatives from the FHP; District staff and Governing Board Member Maritza Rovira-Forino; and the office of State Senator Rhonda Storms. Each new homeowner was presented an FWSG certificate and plaque. After they received their keys, home tours and lunch were provided.

“We are pleased to have a developer on board that caters to first-time homebuyers,” said Susan Douglas, FWSG program coordinator. “This partnership emphasizes that environmentally friendly homes can also be affordable.”

When complete, 100 of the homes at Hidden Creek will be FWSG-certified and will feature low-flow plumbing fixtures, high-efficiency toilets and ENERGY STAR® appliances, as well as low-maintenance Florida-Friendly Landscaping™.

For more information about Florida Home Partnership, Inc., please contact Eileen Burke at (813) 672-7860, ext. 245. For more information on the Florida Water Star℠ Gold program, please contact Susan Douglas at 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4752.