Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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For family of 9, Habitat home will ‘change our life’

BP-Husky gift pays for repairs and repainting


Libra Lewis and her eight kids, including Jacob Smith, 8, are to move into this home on Ansonia Street in Oregon. Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity usually builds the houses it provides, but not this time.

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Libra Lewis and her eight children soon will move into their new home in Oregon, thanks to Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity and a $15,000 donation from BP-Husky Refining LLC.

“It means a lot,” Ms. Lewis said. “It’s going to change our life, owning our own home. I feel blessed.”

Her future home, on Ansonia Street, is being fixed up and will be move-in ready by the middle of July, said Michael McIntyre, Habitat’s executive director.

He said the project was a relatively small one for his nonprofit organization, which is accustomed to building homes that it makes available at below-market terms.

“Most people who think Habitat think of new home construction. This is something of a switch for us,” he said. Work on the Ansonia home began June 21 and is mostly cosmetic, with such improvements as fresh paint and new kitchen countertops and flooring.

“The house was originally built in 2009 and is in good condition,” Mr. McIntyre said. “The previous owner took pretty good care of it. The work we’re doing isn’t extensive enough to be called a rehab,” he explained, adding that the BP-Husky contribution is expected to cover the entire cost of the project. He said the original owner acquired the home through Habitat, died, and left it to a family member, who lived in it for a while, remarried, moved out, and deeded it back to Habitat.

The ranch home is 1,550 square feet, with five bedrooms and two bathrooms. Mr. McIntyre expected its appraisal to be in the $80,000-to-$95,000 range. Mr. McIntyre said Habitat buyers generally get a no-interest, 25-year mortgage and make a minimum down payment of $500.

“Typically, the average monthly payment is less than $400,” he said.

BP-Husky spokesman Mary Caprella said the donation to Habitat was part of her company’s public service. “It was perfect, particularly for us, because we are located in Oregon and support the community," she said.

Ms. Lewis, who is single, said all eight of her children, ages 2 months to 21 years, will live in the house with her. Five are her own, and three are the children of her sister, the late Danita Lewis, who died of an asthma attack in 2001.

Ms. Lewis entered the Habitat program in April, 2012, after being encouraged to do so by a Habitat homeowner. To satisfy Habitat’s sweat-equity requirement, she worked in the organization’s ReStore home improvement store in Maumee and helped with other Habitat projects. She also attended classes in home ownership and personal finance.

She said she works in a day-care center and rents in the Old West End. “This will be wonderful,” she said of her impending move. “It’s really special.”

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