Habitat for Humanity focuses on home repairs in Springfield, hopes to start new builds in 2022

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton took a slightly different approach this year as it worked to reestablish itself in Clark County while also assisting people in need.

The nonprofit, which primarily build homes, focused instead on critical home repairs such as roof replacements, installing new furnaces and other services for low to moderate income families.

The organization, which returned to Clark County in February after a nearly six year absence, made repairs to eight homes in Springfield this year, said David Mauch, development director at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton, which service Clark, Greene and Montgomery counties.

The majority of people who have taken advantage of those services are senior citizens, some of whom live alone or may not have family that can provide help. Others have been widows or residents with disabilities.

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Home repairs have ranged from new roofs to wheel chair accessible ramps. Habitat has worked with other nonprofits in the area as well as with the city of Springfield to connect with those residents and provide much needed help.

However, the goal now is to start building new homes, with the first one to start in either March or April. The nonprofit has mainly been focused on Springfield but hopes to branch out to other parts of the county in the near future, Mauch said.

The nonprofit serves residents in Montgomery, Greene and Clark counties. It reestablished its presence in Clark County after the Clark County Fuller Center for Housing merged back with Habitat this year.

The Clark County Fuller Center provided similar services before the transition. But Mauch said that Habitat can provide them with more resources and support that will allow them to conduct things like new home builds more consistently.

Habitat built homes are purchased by selected residents who are then provided with a no interest rate mortgage. Those who are eligible have to complete a process such as taking 60 hours worth of courses that focus on topics such as financial literacy as well as home maintenance.

The nonprofit plans to build at least two new homes in Springfield next year.

But this year, the focus has been on repairs, something that Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton started doing more frequently following the Dayton tornados in 2019. Since then, the nonprofit has been ramping up that work in the region.

In Springfield, many who have received those services have been senior citizens who are living on a fixed income.

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“For some to put a $10,000 to $15,000 roof on their home is not feasible. They want to continue to live in their homes, where they feel the safest,” said Mauch.

That was the case for Marsha Jones, who lives on West State Street in Springfield. Her roof was repaired this fall with the help of Habitat and another local nonprofit.

Jones had been having trouble with her roof since 2019.

Jones had lived in her home for more than 40 years and could not afford to make repairs, especially as leaking from the roof became worse.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton was able to apply a $7,500 Carol Peterson Grant to the project, and another nonprofit, the Neighborhood Housing Partnership of Greater Springfield, was able to cover the rest of the cost.

Jones was referred to Habitat by the a code enforcement officer with the city of Springfield. She said that if she was not able repair her roof, water would have leaked into the bedrooms of her home.

“I am very grateful and it was a huge help. Without it, rain would have leak into one of the bedrooms,” Jones said.

Those interested in making donations or volunteering with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton can email Dave Mauch at dmauch@daytonhabitat.org or by calling 937-586-0860. More information is available on the nonprofit’s website at https://daytonhabitat.org/

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