POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Seven families are moving into new homes in Pompano Beach thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Broward County.

The families received the new homes Thursday with 70 more homes on the way in the growing neighborhood.

“It feels amazing. We have something to leave our children,” said Edna McKinney, whose family received a new home.

The neighborhood is the largest project ever for Habitat for Humanity of Broward.

Habitat purchased the land a decade ago and broke ground in 2017.

A neighborhood is now taking shape with much of the funding coming from local business leaders Rick and Rita Case of Rick Case Automotive Group as well as Channel 7’s owner, Ed Ansin.

“We are so excited today to see this come to handing out the first homes,” said Rita Case.

For these families, the new homes are life-changing.

“It’s just a blessing,” said McKinney.

But something was missing Thursday, or rather someone: longtime Channel 7 Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Leider, who passed away on Tuesday.

“Bob was a regular at these events, and he was very involved with Habitat,” said Ansin.

The Pompano Beach neighborhood was Leider’s vision. Where others saw an empty nine acres, he saw something special.

“What Bob’s vision was for this particular project is going to be used as a blue print around the world to study how families can come together,” said Rita Case.

On many weekends, you’d find Leider here helping build Habitat homes, but those who knew him best said his favorite part was seeing the families move in.

“There’s nobody who would have loved to have been here today more than Bob Leider,” said Nancy Daly with Habitat for Humanity.

Some might say Leider was there among the smiling faces, the happy hugs and the new homes he helped build.

As the neighborhood continues to grow right down Leider Avenue, a part of him will always be there.

“I know he’s smiling down on us right now and saying this is a blessed day for all of these families,” said Daly.

Many people said they wouldn’t be where they are today or gotten the project off the ground without Leider’s help.

The project is expected to be completed by 2020.

WSVN is a proud sponsor of Habitat for Humanity. For more information, follow the links below.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami

Habitat for Humanity of Broward County

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