Blind man’s home on North Side ravaged by Fire in 2011 receives new life thanks to Habitat MidOhio Home Repair Program
COLUMBUS, Ohio 10/26/16 – More than five years have passed since Irwin Hott lost everything in a devastating fire that consumed the house he had called home for more than fifty years.
Hott, a founder of the Central Ohio Radio Reading Service, now VOICEcorps Reading Service, has been forced to live in an apartment ever since the fire. A contractor he hired to repair the home, took his money and skipped town soon after the job began, leaving Hott with no home and no resources remaining to complete the repairs.
After learning about Habitat MidOhio’s Home Repair program from a friend in 2015, Mr. Hott got the ball rolling and now, more than five years after the fire, Mr. Hott is returning to his home.
“We could not have been more pleased to help Mr. Hott with this long-overdue project,” noted Habitat MidOhio President & CEO E.J. Thomas. “Mr. Hott has been a great Habitat Partner, spending hours on his required ‘sweat equity’ working alongside our construction staff and more than 200 volunteers from United Way, Safelite AutoGlass, Huntington Bank, Thrivent Financial, Bank of America and many other businesses in town.”
Habitat MidOhio’s Home Repair program is an element of the affiliate’s Neighborhood Revitalization program that aims to serve more families in the community with an expanded array of programs and services. Habitat MidOhio Home Repair projects focus on, but are not limited to safety, code and health concerns, exterior home repairs, limited interior repairs, replacing dilapidated porches and replacing gutters.
At Mr. Hott’s home, Habitat workers and volunteers helped pour concrete for a new driveway and new footers for the porch posts, installed new cabinets, countertops, doors and trim, replaced drywall, insulation, and fixtures, painted, provided landscape updates, and oversaw the installation of a new furnace, Air Conditioning unit, and a new water meter, among many other projects.
“Mr. Hott has spent a large part of his life ensuring the visually impaired have quality access to news, cultural arts and current events,” remarked Mr. Thomas. “To be able to give back in this way to a man of such integrity and strength is at the heart of Habitat for Humanity’s mission.”