Former President Jimmy Carter helps position an exterior wall while working on a Habitat for Humanity build November 2015 in Memphis. Ben Gray / bgray@ajc.com
Photo: Ben Gray
Photo: Ben Gray

Jimmy Carter picking up hammer once again to build Habitat homes

Hip surgery in May slowed down former President Jimmy Carter – just a bit.

But a bum hip has nothing to do with the hand he uses to hammer, and that means — for the 36th consecutive year — the former president and his wife Rosalynn are scheduled to build houses for Habitat for Humanity.

From Oct. 6-11, the Carters will be in Nashville, helping to construct 21 homes. Add that to the more than 4,300 they have helped build in 14 countries since 1984.

“There have been many times when people have tried to count President Carter out, and they have never been right,” said Bryan Thomas, a spokesman for Habitat for Humanity International. “We are excited that they will both back.”

Carter was not available for comment Thursday, but a spokeswoman for the Carter Center confirmed that the Carters are planning to attend and participate in the build.

Carter, 94, broke his hip this spring when he fell at his Plains home while he was on his way to go turkey hunting.

The first week after his surgery, he was forced to bow out of the Sunday school class he normally teaches. But he’s made a quick recovery and returned to teaching at Maranatha Baptist Church less than a month later.

He also made the trip to Leesburg, Va., for the Carter Center’s annual five-day retreat.

The build in Tennessee comes at a time when the Southern city is struggling to find ways to come up with affordable housing to keep up with Nashville’s recent growth. Though the boon has brought more jobs and opportunities, it’s also meant an increase in housing prices, which has left low-income residents struggling.

In March, Mayor David Briley unveiled his Under One Roof 2029 initiative.

The city plans to invest $750 million over the next decade to build 10,000 affordable housing units across the city.

RELATED: A look at Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter’s long role building houses with Habitat for Humanity (Photos)

RELATED: How to attend Jimmy Carter’s Sunday school class in Plains

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