Habitat for Humanity to build its first house in New Carlisle

The home, for a veteran family, will be located on site of former school.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

(Editor’s Note: This story has been modified from an earlier version to correctly identify David Mauch.)

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton will build its first New Carlisle home for a Navy veteran and his family, breaking ground in July.

The organization, which builds affordable houses it helps families purchase, will build the home for a family of four who currently live in a small two-bedroom home. David Mauch, who is the development director for the nonprofit Habitat group, said during the Clark County regular commission meeting on Wednesday that helping families obtain housing with no down payment or interest helps them and the community in numerous ways.

“If we can get our housing right, it allows us to get a lot of other things right,” Mauch said.

Habitat For Humanity of Greater Dayton serves Montgomery, Greene and Clark counties through volunteer work funded by donations and grants.

Kermit Rowe, who works with Habitat for Humanity part-time, said with lower monthly housing expenses, families can focus on other expenses and providing for the future.

“It gives them something to build as a legacy that they know if they just are able to make these lower house payments, they will have something to pass onto their family one day,” Rowe said.

According to Habitat For Humanity, the New Carlisle family is made up of husband and wife Len and Alicia and children Benjamin and Gabby. Len served in the U.S. Navy on the U.S.S. Independence where he was exposed to Agent Orange, causing health problems requiring his wife to take care of him. Alicia has done more than 400 volunteer hours with Habitat.

The youngest, Benjamin has slept on the couch for the last seven years in the family’s “cramped two-bedroom house,” according to the nonprofit. Len and Alicia have worked with Habitat for Humanity to learn more about buying a home and taking care of the finances and family’s health.

Credit: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton

Credit: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton

The home will be the first in Clark County outside of Springfield, Rowe said. The organization expects to dedicate five homes in the county this year, when it has averaged 1.5 annually in the past.

Rowe said the land for the new home was donated by the Clark County land bank and is the site of the former Madison Elementary.

The nonprofit often uses recycled materials like paint and donated items that come through its ReStore, which takes donations and sells inexpensive home improvement items, Rowe said.

The ReStore in Springfield is at 2990 Derr Road and is open to the public.

During the commission meeting, Mauch emphasized the importance of “sweat equity,” where a person puts physical labor, mental effort and time toward achieving a goal such as buying a home.

Mauch said before a family receives a home through Habitat of Greater Dayton, they have to take classes on finances and home buying-related topics. He said the purpose of this is to build people up to be independently successful.

All money from the organization’s ReStores and donations goes toward building homes and helping people, Rowe said.

“Every penny that we make after we take care of expenses goes back into the community,” Rowe said. “So it’s truly a community store with a Habitat name on it.”

With an increase in prices in the housing market, more people are struggling to buy homes, Rowe said.

“Now not even lower middle class people can afford a home; it’s just getting really tough,” Rowe said.

Rowe said that in Ohio, one in nine people put 50% or more of their income toward housing, when financial experts recommend no more than 30%. Affordable housing helps get people to this goal.

“Not only does it allow them to get into that goal; it gives them a way to build their financial future faster,” Rowe said.

Habitat for Humanity is excited to help the veteran finally have a home for the whole family, Rowe said.

“Think about how many years he’s been striving to do this; a veteran who put his life on the line for the country and it took him this long to get a home,” Rowe said. “It’s so great to get to see this American Dream come true right before your very eyes.”

The nonprofit is currently finishing a home build in Springfield on West Perrin Avenue for a family on five. The keys will be handed over to the owner at a dedication ceremony on June 2 at 12 p.m.

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