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Published: Wednesday, 8/11/2004

Toledo: Building begins on Habitat homes in North Toledo

BY MARY STEGMEIR
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Construction is under way on two of five Habitat for Humanity homes planned along Gribbin Lane in North Toledo.

The Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity started work on the single-family homes at the end of July after "Habitat Village North" was approved by the Toledo Planning Commission.

The Maumee Valley chapter used $125,000 of a $175,000 grant from Toledo's Department of Economic and Community Development to purchase the 2.45-acre plot of land. The remaining $50,000 was used to purchase other properties in the Toledo area.

The five homes planned for the development will be on lots ranging in size from 8,160 to 19,325 square feet. A 50,640-square-foot portion of the land will be donated to nearby Greenwood Park.

Work on the third and fourth homes in Habitat Village North will begin Aug. 14 and Sept. 17, respectively. Construction of the fifth house will start next year. The average Habitat for Humanity home takes between six and eight weeks and 200 on-site volunteers to complete.

Chuck Thayer, executive director of the Maumee Valley Habitat chapter, said his group considers the five-home development as part of a larger Habitat for Humanity home-building project. Between 2001 and 2004, 16 homes were built along Gribbin Lane and Brooke Park Drive.

Mr. Thayer said his organization's mission of providing affordable housing to low-income families has become even more crucial in the last few years.

"There has been a substantial drop in affordable housing," he said. "There is almost no new affordable housing in Toledo and every other city across the country."

The Maumee chapter typically provides between 12 and 16 families with new homes each year.

Allen Drown, volunteer assistant with the Maumee chapter, said one or two local businesses and organizations sponsor each Habitat home by contributing $55,000 to the project.

Habitat families are given a 25-year no-interest mortgage to finance their home. Monthly payments are about $350.

Mr. Drown said the low house payments let families spend their money on other necessities, like a car or education. Best of all, a new home can give families a fresh start, Mr. Drown said.

"We're not just building homes," he said "We are trying to build hope."

Contact Mary Stegmeir at:

mstegmeir@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



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