Work never stops at Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity, not even for a celebratory press conference.
On May 17, Maumee Valley Habitat and its partners gathered at the site of the group’s 300th roof replacement project in the Toledo area. Even as the assembled dignitaries spoke of the program and its significance, workers continued sawing and nailing the pieces that would soon make up homeowner Kelly’s new roof. Frequently the speakers at the conference would amplify their voice over the sounds of tinkering behind them, but no one ever asked the builders to slow their progress.
The work never ends, and Maumee Valley Habitat plans to keep it that way.
“Over the next five years, starting at the beginning of this year, we’re planning— Maumee Valley Habitat is planning— on completing 625 roofs in total, so (we’re) doubling the output that we’ve had in the last five years. And it’s an investment of over $8 million,” said Michael McIntyre, Executive Director of Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity.
It took roughly five years for Maumee Valley Habitat to reach the 300 milestone, with plenty of support from the group’s community partners such as Owens Corning (who provided all materials for the replacement roofs), the Lucas County Land Bank and the City of Toledo itself.
“We know that we have a lot more work to do, as well. So while the funding of these first 300 came largely from the community development block grant, and 100% of all product was donated from Owens Corning, we do need to step up,” McIntyre said.
The City remains committed to helping Maumee Valley Habitat going forward, declared Rosalyn Clemens, Director of the City of Toledo’s Department of Housing and Community Development.
“Housing stability is a pillar of this administration, and with partners like Habitat, we’re working to preserve the old housing stock here in the city,” she said.
“We’re going to council today to ask for $2.9 million of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) money to continue this roof program, so we’re committed to walking this walk with you.”
In addition to the building materials, Owens Corning also provided financial contributions and engaged with their employees to help make an impact. Beyond the roof project, the company will conduct its 19th full house build in June.
“At Owens Corning, we believe that our people and products make the world a better place,” Abby Donnell, Community Affairs Specialist for Owens Corning, said. “We’ve seen this firsthand as a long term supporter of Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity, and their mission to ensure that everyone has a decent place to live.”
The work is far from finished, of course. The Lucas County Land Bank estimates that over 9,000 roofs in the community are still in need of repair.
“At the Land Bank, we care a lot about all the aspects of what make a neighborhood work. And I think that one of the things that are helpful to us, and to partners like Habitat, partners like the City and others, is having good information about how to tackle that problem,” said David Mann, President and CEO of Lucas County Land Bank.
For Kelly, owner of the 300th house to be aided by this program, the assistance provides inspiration.
“This opportunity gives me hope,” she said.