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Monthly Musing

Monthly Musing

January 2024

Habitat MidOhio Monthly Musing

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CEO Corner

     I hope you and yours had a wonderful and blessed time with family and friends over the holidays.  On behalf of everyone at Habitat MidOhio, allow me to wish each of you a Happy New Year with best wishes for 2024! 

     As we start another year of serving our partner families, I wanted to share the impact of the first four years of Habitat International’s five-year program called, “Cost of Home.”  Conceived and begun in 2019, this initiative has been working to not only build more houses, but educate policy makers and others about the importance of assisting those on their way to affordable homeownership who make just 30-80% of Area Median Income. 

     The stated goal from the beginning was helping 10 million people across the country have access to a home they can afford.  As the program enters its fifth year, the numbers are in and they are impressive.  Specifically, Cost of Home has already assisted 6.6 million through advocacy that has influenced more than 300 policies at the local, state and federal levels.  In the process, and speaking for what we have accomplished here in central Ohio, our efforts have created new friends among policy makers who now support affordable housing.  With this outreach, here and elsewhere around the nation, those who have the ability to move the needle through innovative policy changes have come to understand that families here and elsewhere are paying too high a price to cover their cost of shelter.   We as Habitat know that families paying more than 30% of their income for housing places them at economic risk, and that nearly one in six paid more than half of what they earn on shelter in 2021 – making them severely cost-burdened, according to Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  As folks learn these figures, they come to the same conclusion as those of us in the Habitat community:  This figure is unacceptable. 

     The result of being cost burdened for housing leads all willing to hear our story to one salient conclusion:  Those with the fewest resources are always the ones who are forced to make the hardest choices regarding how they spend them.  It should not be disproportionally allotted to just housing.  The bottom line is that everyone deserves to have shelter they can afford, one that provides a stable foundation for themselves and their families, and as HFHI has stated, “…no matter who they are, where they live or how much money they earn.

     Know that your Habitat MidOhio has been proud to be point for this effort in our central Ohio community.  As an example, last year Ryan Miller, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity-Ohio, and I worked with the Ohio legislature during the time the state’s biennial budget was under consideration.  Our goal was to generate sufficient support for an appropriation that could be used to build new homes and repair existing housing stock throughout Ohio, with such funding to be put to work by our 39 affiliates.  We were successful in that $25 million was set aside in the budget for this purpose. 

     Our objective with these funds is to increase capacity and add some 300 new homes and repair an estimated 600 existing houses needing work in order to keep them habitable.  The benefit to an existing community of building new homes is clear.  Less apparent is the  impact of repairing existing stock for low and moderate-income residents.  Our goal is and has been to accomplish both these outcomes.  Having just signed the grant contract with the Ohio Department of Development that is responsible for this new program, we’re on our way. 

     None of these efforts would be possible without the dedicated support that so many of you have provided Habitat MidOhio over the years.  Please know how appreciative we are of that support, and I hope you will take pride in being part of our ongoing efforts to provide safe, decent and affordable housing options at an increased level for those whom we serve across the state.  Thank you!       

 


Homeowner Services

Wall Raising of Badhi Family Home, December 2

We’re glad to start a new home in Linden in partnership with the Badhi family! Special thank you to Northwest Adopt-A-House for sponsoring their 32nd home and Mifflin Presbyterian for sponsoring their 17th. These two long-time partners just finished a home in August and quickly turned around to start a new home. Thank you John Fisher for your commitment as a volunteer house lead!


Dedication of Balde Family Home, December 7

We always love a home dedication just in time for the holidays! Early in December, the Balde family received the keys to their new Habitat home. This build was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Nationwide Foundation and the hard work of nearly 300 Nationwide volunteers. We are so grateful for Nationwide's commitment to making a lasting impact on our community!  Please join us in welcoming the Balde family home!

 


Construction

Cornerstone Energy Conservation Services helps make energy efficiency a cornerstone of affordability at Habitat for Humanity

At HFHMO we take great pride in creating housing products that are affordable for central Ohio families to raise their families in.  The affordability of the homes we build is achieved in several different ways including fundraising, creative financing, use of volunteer labor and utilization of donated goods.  Often overlooked, but equally as important, is the implementation of building practices that allow us to achieve Energy Star Certification and subsequently build extremely energy efficient new homes.  The net result is that HFHMO families end up with utility bills that are much lower than what the average household has which helps to make the ownership of a home affordable—for its lifetime! 

Many aspects that help achieve this energy efficiency.  Building design features such as raised heal truss systems, continuous insulation systems, insulated headers, and high efficiency mechanical equipment all play a part.  Additionally, our faithful volunteers and construction team pay special attention to details during construction including installation of windows, sealing of all seams with silicon, attic sealing and insulation.  These and several other facets make a huge difference. 

Another important factor in the energy efficiency equation is having a competent energy rater to guide us and also to verify results.  For many years Cornerstone Energy Conservation Services has partnered with HFHMO to be our energy rater.  They deeply discount their services to us which include initial verification of building plans/specs, air infiltration inspections during pre-insulation phase, and at the end of a build doing blower door and duct blaster testing to ensure we are achieving the results desired. The services and dedication from their team have helped us to be a leader in energy efficiency in the realm of affordable housing for many years now.  Cornerstone Energy Conservation Services is now a part of IBP (Installed Building Products) family of companies who support HFHMO in multiple different ways in addition to through the energy rating services mentioned here.  We are grateful for their dedication to us and look forward to continuing the long-term partnership in helping to serve many more central Ohio families in the future!   

 


ReStore

Happy New Year from MidOhio ReStores! 2023 was a busy year and we look forward to serving our communities even more in ‘24!

Shop: It’s winter in Ohio! That means more time indoors so come out and shop with us at the ReStores! Whether you are in need of updating, remodeling or replacing, we have the stuff for you! Stop in to any of our three locations for great deals with furniture, appliances, flooring, cabinets, water heaters, bathroom vanities and so much more.

New Product Alert: Come check out new merchandise from our Corporate partners: La-Z-Boy, Arhaus, NBG Home and many more. We have brand new purchased product as well like Butcher Block, American Cover Design rugs, Chicago Mattresses, Omaha, Dahdoul and more!

Donate: Making space for all your new holiday gifts? Consider donating your old usable items to ReStore. We offer free pick-up five days a week, or drop-off is available six days a week. Visit our website for a list of acceptable items and to schedule a pick-up.

 

ReStore Locations and Hours

 


Shop Online: Don’t have time to come in? Shop with us online for items available for “Buy Now, Pickup later.”

Or, check out our newly launched Ebay store, featuring new donated items. No matter how you choose to shop, we have the items you are looking for!

 


Please join us in welcoming Steve to HFHMO!  Steve joins our affiliate as a ReStore Team Member located at our Newark store.

Steve is looking forward to working at the ReStore, meeting his coworkers, and learning more about Habitat.  He’s ready to work hard and be a valued member of our team.  Outside of work Steve enjoys spending time with his family outdoors.  He loves to go to parks, camp, and go fishing.

Welcome Steve, we are glad to have you!

 


Volunteer Services

Women Build

Our 17th Women Build project started construction on January 2 and is off to a great start! We are still looking for volunteers throughout the build, so click below to lend a hand!

 


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Honoring the Legacy and Impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King dreamed of a world that was fair and just. He dreamed of a world that was built on God’s love and he called it, “the Beloved Community.” That dream has been a part of Habitat for Humanity’s mission even from our organization’s earliest days on Koinonia Farms, where Clarence Jordan and Habitat’s eventual founders worked to establish equality and create opportunity for all. With Koinonia’s roots of racial and economic equality informing the foundation of Habitat’s mission, this vision of equality continues to inspire and compel Habitat’s work. 

With his dream of the Beloved Community, Dr. King provided the blueprint for the work we did then and the work we do now. And when Clarence Jordan and our founders faced harassment and hostility for their efforts to stand against segregation, Dr. King wrote to them, encouraged them, and prayed for them.

At Habitat MidOhio, we bring diverse groups people together and create opportunities for service and connection between individuals who might not otherwise interact. We bring people together to create access to a basic human need that far too many people don’t have access to – decent and affordable housing.

 


Please join us in welcoming Martin to HFHMO as our DE&I / HR Manager. 

Martin’s career has been focused on Human Resources for many years and he is experienced in all aspects of that department. Martin’s biggest goal is to help pull out the hidden talent and potential that resides in everyone at HFHMO.  He really loves what Habitat stands for and that we value all people. Outside of work Martin enjoys teaching, preaching, and being a part of his church.  He is also part of a music ground and plays the piano and drums.  Fun fact:  He can sing!

Martin lives by this saying:  “I care more about people for who they are more than I do a title they carry.”

 


Resource Development

Tithe amount surpasses $1M!

Because we believe in a world where everyone has a decent place to live, Habitat MidOhio contributes towards the Habitat for Humanity International Tithe program, a program designed to encourage local US affiliates to support home building efforts internationally.  Our lifetime contributions have surpassed $1 million since 1988! Those funds have helped to provide homes to 353 families in addition to those we have served locally.  Throughout the years, we have supported the program giving unrestricted funds as well as by partnering with Central African Republic, Zambia, and since 2010, Cotê d’Ivoire. 

 


Please join us in welcoming Harry to HFHMO as our new Corporate Relations and Development Coordinator. 

Harrison has been in the affordable housing sector for several years.  He comes to us from Community Development for All People.  He’s also worked with Habitat at Ohio Northern University.  He is excited to meet all of the wonderful HFHMO staff that make Habitat “Habitat”.  He hopes with his contributions to the RD team, that funding we receive will be more than it was last year.  Outside of work Harrison enjoys playing tennis and collecting comic books. 

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