AMERICUS, Ga. (AP) _ Habitat for Humanity will celebrate its 15th anniversary next year by building 1,500 homes for the needy in 225 communities in the United States and Canada.

Habitat said the 16-week building blitz will begin in Miami on June 16 and end in Columbus, Ohio, with a three-day convention, starting Sept. 26. Former President Carter, one of Habitat's best-known volunteers, will be the keynote speaker at the meeting.

During the anniversary project, 15 work teams will travel from community to community, building new homes and renovating old ones, Habitat officials said. Habitat will provide food, housing and transportation.

''This will be the most exciting year in Habitat for Humanity's history,'' said Millard Fuller, Habitat's president and co-founder.

Fuller said the Christian housing group also plans to complete its 10,000th home early in the year and to complete its 15,000th by the end of the year.

Volunteers build and renovate homes by using donated materials. Recipients are required to work on their homes and the homes of others. Houses are purchased on a non-profit, no-interest basis.