|Church Gives Home Makeovers|
Ohio has been dubbed the “epicenter of the foreclosure crisis” in the U.S. The state saw 90,000 foreclosure filings in 2009. As vacant properties pile up, some here see opportunity. Reed Galin has the story.
(Locator: Columbus, Ohio)
Despite the weak economy, construction is still going strong in this Columbus, Ohio neighborhood which needs a turnaround.
Job foreman: “What we did on this property was a full gut renovation. We also did an addition on the property also.”
Five years ago, the nearby United Methodist Church for All People fixed up one house. This year, with private and government grants, they will makeover almost 50, says Pastor John Edgar.
The Rev. John Edgar, United Methodist Church for All People: “Primarily, we buy vacant and blighted houses that are rehabbed and then become owner-occupied homes. It reduces blight in the community; it creates jobs, and obviously creates a quality home for the family that moves in.”
Job foreman: “This property has a tankless water heater. We have a 95 percent efficient gas furnace. We have low VOC paint and recyclable carpet in our properties.”
Buyers get a completely updated home with green technology and the price is based on what a family can pay.
Margaret Madison, United Methodist Missionary: “We not only provide a good house but the best they can have for the money. Each time we reclaim a house, it’s reclaiming our neighborhood.”
Margaret Madison to family in van: “Well how y’all doin’?”
Margaret Madison is a United Methodist Missionary who works full time with “Community Development for All People.” She oversees renovations and counsels potential homeowners.
Margaret talks to family in van: “If you go take the homeownership class they will help you work through what you owe and get out of debt.”
The program also has a grant to help longtime homeowners make repairs. The Church for All People dreams big for this community.
John Edgar: “Our goal over the next 3 years, in a 38 square block area, is to buy every vacant house so there will be no blight in the neighborhood; to create a multi-income neighborhood where it’s a good place for everyone to live.”
Margaret Madison: “We’ve gone from one house, to this year (where) we’ll be doing 5 million (dollars) in housing. Now that changes a neighborhood.”
For more information on the housing program, contact the United Methodist Church for All People at 614-445-7342.
“Church and Community Ministries” is devoted to uplifting the poor and disenfranchised in rural and urban areas in the United States and since 1998, other countries around the world. It is Advance # 982147.
Posted: December 9, 2010
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