Workers hammering and stomping away on Bertha Crawford’s roof Thursday made quite the racket, but the homeowner sitting inside didn’t mind one bit.
Ms. Crawford, 88, is the recipient of a new roof, courtesy of Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity’s home repair program. She has lived in her home on Northgate Parkway in North Toledo since 1963, and is the 50th homeowner to receive a new roof from the program.
“We applied for it back in the spring through my daughter-in-law,” Ms. Crawford said. “I had no idea I could get any help. She started contacting different people and organizations, and I got my roof. It was fantastic.”
Ms. Crawford said her roof was put on in the 1980s and was starting to have issues.
Her situation is not unique in Toledo. A Lucas County Land Bank study conducted in the past few years revealed 14,000 homes in Toledo had visible roof damage. In response, Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity, Owens Corning, and the city of Toledo are partnering to address what they call a local roofing crisis.
The trio have committed to replacing another 50 roofs in 2018. The city will designate funds from the Department of Neighborhoods, and materials will be donated by Owens Corning.
The city announced plans to provide 10 homeowners with new roofs earlier this year, and Mike McIntyre, executive director for Maumee Valley’s Habitat for Humanity, said nearly 1,000 people applied for the program.
"We were floored that the need is that great," Mr. McIntyre said. "It's really been important to our community that we're able to provide these services. I'm not aware of any other non-profit organization that provides roof replacements. They're very expensive for lower income families that own their own home and can't afford to do a roof replacement."
Johnson Construction replaced Ms. Crawford’s roof and has handled the majority of the projects in the program. Four roofers braved the cold and snowflakes Thursday, and planned to finish the job by the afternoon.
Most people are aware of Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to build new homes, but the organization does more home rehabs than new construction. The Maumee Valley branch began its home repair program eight years ago.
"In the last two years, we started to doing roof replacements," Mr. McIntyre said. "We make it possible through a great partnership with Owens Corning, who donates the product. Then we just work on the funds to pay for the rest of the project and partner where we can with area builders to make it affordable for homeowners."
Homeowners receiving a new roof are provided with a zero interest, low payment plan. They are also required to fulfill the sweat equity component commonly involved with new home construction.
Mr. McIntyre said they sometimes have to get creative, especially for older people.
"We're certainly not going to put Bertha on the roof," he joked. "But they're involved with the project to the degree they can be. Perhaps they'll help clean the site up if we're doing interior repairs, or they're providing access to the workers or volunteers."
Ms. Crawford is paying $48 per month, and $1,500 total for her new roof.
“You can't beat that anywhere,” she said. “It's amazing.”
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