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Published: Tuesday, 2/23/2010

2 Habitat for Humanity houses to be built in Northwood

BLADE STAFF

Northwood is slated to get two new Habitat for Humanity homes this year.

City Council recently deeded property in the 1900 block of Joseph Street to the Wood County chapter of the group. The land, at 120 feet by 125 feet, is large enough for two buildable lots.

The city took possession of the property last year after Wood County foreclosed on it for nonpayment of taxes, Northwood administrator Pat Bacon said.

Tom Ehmke, Wood County Habitat's executive director, said this year his group plans to build one home on Joseph and another on nearby Owen Street on a lot it owns.

The homes will be 1,180 square feet in size with three bedrooms and one bathroom.

Upgrades, including a half bath and air conditioning, are available if the buyer wants to pay for them, Mr. Ehmke said.

The homes qualify for financial assistance because they will be located in a so-called "target area" with a high number of foreclosures and declining property values, Mr. Ehmke said.

Habitat will get two $20,000 grants from the state's Community Housing Improvement Program.

Under the terms of the grants, the homes must be completed by the end of September.

Weather permitting, ground will be broken in April.

Once built, the homes will be sold for $65,000 each, or $70,000 if the selected buyers elect to pay for the upgrades.

Habitat will finance the home purchases with a no-interest mortgage extending 15 to 30 years, depending on the payment the buyer can afford.

The homes will be built with volunteer labor for the framing, finishing, and electrical work. A contractor will be used for furnace installation.

"We've had several Habitat homes in Northwood, and they've all worked out well," Ms. Bacon said.



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