West Side Real Estate News & Notes
Habitat for Humanity announces effort for veterans
WEST AKRON – The local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity will be part of a national effort to repair homes for veterans and their families, officials announced Aug. 13.
Habitat for Humanity of Summit County (HFHSC) has been selected to participate in Repair Corps, a veterans-support initiative of Habitat for Humanity International and the Home Depot Foundation.
HFHSC is one of 84 Habitat affiliates selected to participate in this program designed to support U.S. veterans in need of home repair, according to Rochelle Fisher, HFHSC president and CEO. Repair Corps is designed under the same model as new homes built with Habitat families, where the veteran will repay the no-interest loan necessary for these repairs.
“We are excited to participate in the launch of Habitat for Humanity’s Repair Corps program and grateful to the Home Depot Foundation for funding this project,” Fisher said. “It is truly an honor to work in partnership with former servicemen and women and their families.”
Repair Corps is a project funded by the Home Depot Foundation with a $2.7 million cash and in-kind gift card donation. Home repair grants will be allocated in amounts up to $15,000 for each project. The program grants will cover the cost of a variety of repairs that could include roofing and weather stripping to the installation of wheelchair ramps and renovated bathrooms and doorways to accommodate disabled veterans.
“We are proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity International as we aim to ensure that every U.S. veteran has a safe and accessible place to call home,” said Kelly Caffarelli, president of the Home Depot Foundation.
Habitat for Humanity’s Repair Corps is part of a three-year, $30 million investment the foundation is making to multiple organizations to help ease the burdens of veterans, officials said.
For more information on the effort, call 330-745-7734 or go to www.hfhsummitcounty.org.
Fifth Third Bank partners with community organizations to offer financial information
AKRON — Fifth Third Bank recently announced it has partnered with community organizations to bring the Financial Empowerment Mobile, or eBus, to 15 locations in Northeast Ohio through Aug. 25.
The eBus is a 40-foot bus that doubles as a mobile classroom to provide credit counseling, financial literacy, homeownership assistance, foreclosure prevention and access to banking products and services directly to where people live and work, according to bank officials.
A self-contained mobile classroom on wheels, the eBus is Internet-equipped with 14 computer terminals for instructor-led or self-directed homeownership and credit counseling programs, and has access to comprehensive financial services information, according to bank officials. Fifth Third community development officers, mortgage professionals and retail banking staff will be on board, along with community partners to promote financial literacy, homeownership assistance and foreclosure prevention in an informal and relaxed atmosphere.
On the eBus, visitors will be able to:
• request a free credit report and review it onboard;
• receive a free consultation on loss mitigation and foreclosure prevention;
• receive a free personalized evaluation of finances;
• speak with nonprofit organizations that provide housing, money management and business advice;
• browse free multilingual, self-directed programs on homeownership and credit counseling;
• obtain money management and budgeting information;
• get access to a wide range of banking products and services; and
• access resources provided by community partners.
Akron area stops of the eBus include: today, Aug. 16, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club, 889 Jonathan Ave., and Aug. 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Job Center, 1040 E. Tallmadge Ave.
“Together with the site and program partners, our goal is to help residents understand and gain access to resources and information that continually improve their lives and the well-being of our communities,” said Jerry Kelsheimer, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank, Northeastern Ohio. “We encourage all Northeast Ohio residents to experience the Financial Empowerment Mobile.”
According to bank officials, this is the eighth year the eBus has visited Northeastern Ohio. In 2011, more than 650 Northeastern Ohio residents stepped aboard the eBus to receive financial literacy and assistance, bank officials added.
“This year’s theme is ‘Get on Board to Make More of Your Money’ because we are focused on assisting community residents to help them become financially sound and feel empowered,” said Emmanuel Glover, director of community development for Fifth Third Bank, Northeastern Ohio.
According to bank officials, Fifth Third Bank’s partners in this effort include: Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Apprisen Financial Advocates, Cleveland Foodbank, Community Building Partnership of Stark County, Enterprise Community Partners, Famicos Foundation, Goodwill Industries of Akron, Greater Stark County Urban League, Hands On Northeast Ohio, The Job Center of Akron, National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland (NHSGC), Oriana House Inc., The Total Living Center of Canton, Trillium Family Solutions and Westside Housing & Enrichment Center.
State unveils new program to preserve farmland
REYNOLDSBURG — Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Director David Daniels announced a new way to preserve Ohio farmland recently.
The new effort is called the Agricultural Easement Donation Partnership Program. According to ODA officials, the program will reimburse local partners (counties, townships, soil and water conservation districts or land trusts) for real estate closing and administrative costs to assist landowners with donations under the state’s farmland preservation program.
According to ODA officials, the department has set aside $50,000 to cover up to $3,000 in costs for the donation of farms up to 200 acres. The incentive would increase by $5 per acre for easements more than 200 acres in size. Funds will be equally available in all areas of the state, according to ODA officials.
“Ohio has gone from zero preserved farmland acres to more than 54,000 preserved acres in just over 10 years,” said Daniels. “This would never have been possible without the help of our local partners. Today, through this program, we are offering a way to help our partners preserve even more productive farmland at the local level. We hope to preserve many more acres of donated agricultural easements through these incentives.”
The program will help provide local partners with resources to respond to landowners who want to permanently protect their land for agricultural production, according to ODA officials. Tax benefits for the value of the easement donation also may be available.
The department now has 53 donated agricultural easements on 6,390 acres, according to ODA officials.
To review the new program guidelines, visit www.agri.ohio.gov/divs/FarmLand/FarmLand.aspx.
Kathleen Folkerth and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.
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