SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Sept. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Operation Homefront has selected three military families to receive newly-built mortgage-free homes from Meritage Homes Corporation (NYSE: MTH). The energy-efficient homes are located in Goodyear, Ariz., outside of Phoenix; Cary, N.C., outside of Raleigh; and Converse, Texas, outside of San Antonio. Each one of the homes will be unveiled to the families in November during the week leading up to Veterans Day.
In Goodyear, Ariz. Army Sergeant Richard Neider, II, his wife Kerry, and their two children will be moving into the first home that they have owned as a family. The 2,278 square foot home will provide the family of four a place to grow, and living in a home with ADA compliant features will allow Sgt. Neider to use his wheelchair inside the house.
Born and raised in North Carolina, Army Sergeant Jeffrey Lynch was selected to receive a 2,066 square foot home in Cary, N.C. The home is just half an hour away from Duke University, where Jeffrey receives specialized medical treatment. Both Jeffrey and his wife Christy have family nearby in Fayetteville, and the couple are parents of a four-year-old daughter.
Army Sergeant Aaron Kumamoto was selected to receive the new 1,508 square foot home in Converse, Texas. Aaron and his wife Erica have lived in the San Antonio area for six years. The new home will provide the family with a place of their own, close to San Antonio Military Medical Center, where Aaron receives his medical treatment. The couple is also looking forward to keeping their son Logan close to their family and friends.
"It's very rare that I get tears in my eyes, but somebody found a way to do it," said Neider. "It's amazing that somebody was willing to do something like this for me. It's just amazing."
Each one of the veterans was selected based on a number of qualifications including, but not limited to, family needs and ties to the community. These homes are the first three newly-built homes provided through Operation Homefront's Homes on the Homefront program. Tim Farrell, the organization's Chief Operating Officer, says that working with Meritage is a major opportunity for the program to serve military families in a new way.
"Our partnership with Meritage Homes will allow us to not only extend our Homes on the Homefront program into new waters, but most importantly allow three military families to own brand new homes," said Farrell. "It's an exciting time for each of the families, as well as our team at Operation Homefront, as we look forward to handing over the keys to the homes in November."
Meritage Homes' contribution to the Homes on the Homefront program has already made a major impact on military families, but will not stop at just the three homes. Meritage employees will also take part in a "Sweat Equity" campaign designed to assist Operation Homefront in numerous areas throughout the country. Volunteers at each of Meritage's 13 offices across the nation will assist local Operation Homefront field offices in various volunteer opportunities.
"We recognize and appreciate the sacrifices of our brave men and women serving in America's armed forces," said Steven J. Hilton, chairman and CEO of Meritage Homes. "Together with our suppliers and trade partners who are participating with us in this program, we are delighted to provide these homes to the Neider, Lynch and Kumamoto families."
About Operation Homefront A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 4,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has met more than 750,000 needs of military families since its inception in 2002. A four-star rated charity by watchdog Charity Navigator, nationally 95 percent of total revenue donated to Operation Homefront goes directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to www.OperationHomefront.net.
About Meritage Homes Corporation Meritage Homes is the ninth-largest public homebuilder in the United States, based on 4,238 homes closed in 2012. Meritage builds and sells single-family homes for first-time, move-up, luxury and active adult buyers across the Western, Southern and Southeastern United States. As of March 31, 2013, the company had 168 actively selling communities in markets including Sacramento, San Francisco's East Bay, the Central Valley and Southern California; Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin and San Antonio, Texas; Phoenix/Scottsdale and Tucson, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; Denver, Colorado; Orlando and Tampa, Florida; Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina.
Meritage has designed and built more than 75,000 homes in its 27-year history, and has a reputation for its distinctive style, quality construction, and positive customer experience. Meritage is the industry leader in energy efficient homebuilding and in 2013, Meritage received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for Sustained Excellence Award, for its innovation and industry leadership in energy efficient homebuilding. Meritage was the first national homebuilder to be 100 percent ENERGY STAR® qualified in every home it builds, and far exceeds ENERGY STAR standards today.