‘This is beyond a blessing:’ Springfield woman to become new homeowner through Habitat program

It will take some sweat equity and the help of the community, but a Springfield mother of four will become the owner of a new home through a Habitat of Humanity of Greater Dayton program.

“It feels like... I can’t even really say a blessing. This is beyond a blessing. It’s kind of like a dream come true,” Katara Wood said. “It feels good to be a part of the program. It feels good to be accepted into the program and actually complete it. Just being able to complete something, it makes me feel very good.”

ExplorePHOTOS: Groundbreaking For New Habitat Home

Wood, a single mother of four children - Nyelle Gilbreath, 16; Shyelle Gilbreath, 12; Ty’ahn Dearmond, 7; TyKel Dearmond, 5 - was selected as the homeowner for the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton’s first Clark County home.

On Tuesday, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at 1122 W. Perrin Ave. in Springfield for the new homeowner.

Wood is working through the 12 to 18 month process to finish qualifying to purchase the home, which includes 275 volunteer hours to help build her home and in other ways to help the nonprofit, as well as up to 60 hours in homeowner training.

Wood, from Springfield, will be a first-generation home buyer. This new home will allow more safety for her children than where she currently lives.

“You can have a home and still need a home. Your home could be in an area that’s not safe, it could be breaking down... Me and my kids, we showed that we very much show a need,” she said.

ExploreRelated: Springfield’s Fuller Center housing agency to merge with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton

When Wood finishes her qualifications, she will be able to purchase the home on a zero interest mortgage with no down payment, making her only initial cost an escrow to cover the first year of her taxes and insurance.

It will take about four to five months for the home to be built. Once the house is finished, Habitat will contact an appraiser for the value of the house. Habitat has the ability to be flexible with Wood’s mortgage payment, but will look at her monthly income and make sure all payments do not exceed more than 30% of her monthly income, said Development Director David Mauch.

“With our program, by cutting out the interest that’s owed on a monthly basis, it makes homeownership accessible and affordable for families,” Mauch said. “We’re trying to make housing affordable.”

The walls for the home were pre-built last weekend and donated by Concord United Methodist Church in Englewood. This is also a Faith Build, which is a project that works to unite the faith community to donate and volunteer to help build the new home.

Thrivent, the main sponsor of the project, donated $50,000 for the cost of construction. Other local major sponsors include Assurant, Crabill Family Foundation, The Springfield Foundation, Shouvlin Foundation, Carleton F. & Ruth Davidson Trust and Concord United Methodist Church.

This is the first new home construction build in Clark County by the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton.

Clark County Community Habitat for Humanity was formed in 1990 and operated under that for 25 years before becoming the Clark County Fuller Center for Housing in 2015. It operated under that chapter until February 2021, when it merged into the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton, making it a tri-county affiliate as Greene County merged in 2014.

ExploreRelated: Habitat for Humanity hosts grand opening, ribbon cutting for Springfield ReStore

The merger into the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton started before the coronavirus, but was slowed by pandemic-related challenges.

“We have been doing critical repairs as part of Greater Dayton Habitat during this first transition year,” said Kermit Rowe, faith and community relations associate.

Last month, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton opened a new Springfield ReStore, a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center, at 2990 Derr Road. It provides a variety of new and gently used products at a reduced price, and all proceeds go back to Habitat to help support their work in the county.

“So things are really rolling for us now,” Rowe said.

How to help

Habitat for Humanity is also looking for volunteers to help build this home. To volunteer, call Rowe at 937-605-5086.

About the Author