It is the right of every human being to have a decent place to live. But for many of our neighbors, safe and affordable housing is a dream that remains out of reach.
This is a problem of particular concern to homebuilders. We understand better than most how vital housing is to the safety of our families and the economic growth of our region. And yet, the number of homeless or underhoused individuals and families in our area remains unacceptably high.
Charlie Simms decided to do something about it. Last spring he pledged $100 to Dayton Ohio Habitat for Humanity for every home his company sold in 2013. The recent economic downturn has affected businesses and individuals nationwide. But the truth is, if individuals don’t succeed, then the community as a whole can’t either.
Maybe we are seeing solid proof of the recovering economy. Or maybe it was the power of the pledge. But 2013 turned out to be a very successful year for Charles Simms Development. Last week Charlie presented DOHH Executive Director Diane Graham and Director of Development Yvette Kelly-Fields with a check for $5000.00.
Founded in 1983, Dayton Ohio Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, volunteer-driven Christian ecumenical housing ministry dedicated to providing decent, affordable housing to families in need throughout Montgomery County. DOHH serves as a hand up, not a hand out, for qualified low income families.
Families apply to earn a home of their own. Once accepted into the program, “Partner Families” work alongside volunteers to build their house. They put in 275 to 550 hours of “sweat equity” and take approximately 40 hours of classes to prepare for responsible homeownership before earning their home. Partner families make a down payment toward the purchase of their home, which is then sold to them through an affordable, interest-free mortgage held by DOHH. Mortgage payments are put into a revolving fund to build future homes.
Dayton Habitat has a special place in Charlie’s heart. His parents, Charles and Ann, have participated on over a dozen Habitat builds here in Dayton and in Florida. Using his expertise and connections as a local builder, Charles successfully ran several builds personally. Ann was responsible for bringing the Women Build concept to Dayton. Women Build empowers women to do all aspects of constructing a Habitat home, including operation of heavy equipment.
During his visit to DOHH last week, Simms recommitted his pledge of support for 2014, promising to donate $100 for every home sold this year. He hopes that other builders and Realtors will follow his example and help advance our united goal of safe and affordable housing for everyone in our community.
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