About Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio is an independently chartered affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), the largest nonprofit home builder worldwide. Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio serves Athens, Hocking, Perry, Meigs, Morgan, Noble and a portion of Muskingum counties.
From 1990 to 2015, Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio helped families achieve their dreams of home ownership and break the cycle of poverty. Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio also works to remove substandard houses from communities. In this way, the program can transform neighborhoods, one block at a time.
Since 2000, the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville (OHFN) has awarded more than $200,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio (and related county-based affiliates), providing 10 families with safe, affordable housing and increased economic self-sufficiency.
Mr. Kenneth Oehlers, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio, spoke about the organization's impact in the region.
Why is the work of Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio so important in the communities you serve?
In southeastern Ohio, one in four families is forced to decide between paying for rent, food, medical bills or transportation to work. This burden forces families to make tough decisions that have a lasting negative impact on their lives, their children and their communities.
Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio focuses on home ownership as its solution to affordable housing. By offering zero interest mortgages and accepting sweat equity as a down payment, Habitat makes affordable home ownership opportunities available to families who would otherwise not qualify for a mortgage.
How many families have acquired homes and been able to remain in those homes?
From 1990 through 2015, we built 59 homes for families in six different counties in southeastern Ohio. Of these, 45 families are currently paying a mortgage, 12 have paid their loans in full, and we've had only two defaults. These numbers are typical for Habitat programs and our success rate is very good when compared to the banking world.
Read more from our discussion with Mr. Oehlers.