MIDDLEPORT — Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio hosted the sponsors for the Middleport built on Brownell on Tuesday afternoon during a hard hat tour of the home.
Sponsors and donors in attendance included Paul Reed and Dru Reed of Farmers Bank and Savings Company, Pastor David Hopkins from Middleport Church of Christ, and Tim King from King Ace Hardware. The major sponsors for the house build include Farmers Bank, Northbend Church, and Home National Bank. Other contributors included The Vaughan Agency, Middleport Church of Christ, Mount Vernon United Brethren, and Valley Lumber.
Farmers Bank and the Middleport Church of Christ were sponsors for the first Habitat build on Brownell in 2016.
According to Caitlyn Moritz, the Director of Community Engagement with Habitat SEO, the house should be completed by the end of August. After completion, the house will be dedicated and then Shad and Aja Collins will move in, along with their three children.
Moritz explained the process of a family partnering with Habitat for Humanity to the sponsors during the “hard hat tour.” Habitat SEO owns the loan for the house and the family pays the mortgage every month. There is a 20 year homeownership agreement for the house. Both adults in the family are required to put in 250 hours of work during the building process.
“They are so proactive at being involved in their build. They love their community as well,” said Chelsie Frazier, the Director of Family Services with Habitat SEO. “We’re just really blessed to have them and to be able to give them this kind of opportunity.”
Moritz said both Shad and Aja were born and raised in region and they are excited to continue raising their family in the area.
“This was an awesome opportunity for them to be able to own a home here instead of paying more than 50 percent of their income to rent, which is what they had done previously in very, very substandard living conditions,” Moritz said.
The house, which is located beside the first Habitat house built in Meigs County, has three bedrooms and two bathrooms with an open kitchen and living area.
Moritz said Habitat SEO is searching for a location for the next house build in Meigs County.
“We are looking at sites. The only issue is trying to find one that’s not in the floodplain,” Moritz said. “It would be nice to expand outside of Middleport, but we will help wherever we can.”
Habitat SEO is planning to start the next home in 2021.
“We would like to be able to build every year, but we’re not able to currently,” Moritz said. “One day we hope we can get there with the community support and working with the commissioners.”
Moritz and other Habitat SEO employees thanked the sponsors for their contribution to making Middleport a better place.
Kayla Hawthorne is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.