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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Checking out the House the House built



The Florida House has come up with a unique way to demonstrate the spirit of bipartisanship that members say they've embraced this session. This past weekend, Republican and Democrats began working together to build a Habitat for Humanity home for a Tallahassee family.

The "House the House Built" project is taking place in just one week, "Extreme Home Makeover" style. Normal Habitat builds can take a few months.

When members arrived Saturday morning, there was just a concrete foundation. They installed the house's walls, roof trusses and windows on the first day. After three days of work, the house exterior is mostly finished. (Full photo gallery after the jump.)

They plan is to hand over the keys this Saturday to Cookie Ashby, a formerly homeless single mother who plans to move in with her two daughters and grandsons ages 6 and 1.

It was Rep. Richard Corcoran's idea for House members to launch a service project while in session. Two Jacksonville legislators, Republican Daniel Davis and Democrat Reggie Fullwood, are leading up the effort. The House raised about $75,000 to pay for the build.

Davis said the goal is to bridge the divide between the parties while doing something good.

"I think that it shows how much we do have in common," Davis said. "I think the principle of this is both Republicans and Democrats want to make their community better, and when you take all the policy stuff out of the way and just get down and dirty there aren't any differences at that point."

[Last modified: Monday, March 18, 2013 9:35pm]


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