Habitat build to begin on statehouse grounds

Special to The Gazette - [email protected]

Habitat for Humanity of Ohio is recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act by partnering with elected officials and supporters, including the Ohio Association of Realtors, to erect a home on the Ohio Statehouse grounds.

The nonprofit organization starts construction on the new home for Dave and Kate D’Agati and their two young daughters from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square in Columbus.

After the event, the home will be disassembled and moved to a permanent site for the family in Union County.

“We wanted to start the construction process for this home on the Statehouse grounds because we want to raise awareness about the importance of everyone having access to affordable and fair housing, regardless of race, religion, nationality, gender or sexuality,” said Ryan Miller, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Ohio. “Everyone should be able to achieve the American dream of owning their own home. We are excited that our elected officials will roll up their sleeves and swing hammers in solidarity to support affordable and fair housing.”

Despite Dave’s job as a first-grade teacher, the D’Agati family has struggled to purchase their own home for years after outgrowing their two-bedroom rental. Through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Delaware and Union Counties, the dream of homeownership will become a reality.

After completing 300 hours of sweat equity, which will include helping build their own home and completing homeownership classes, the D’Agati family will purchase the home at fair market value with a zero-interest, affordable mortgage.

“To finally be able to put down roots in Union County feels wonderful,” Dave said. “Owning our home has been our dream for a long time. We will have a yard for our girls to play in, a home for them to grow up in and be a part of a great community where we can build our future.”

Volunteers for this event will be assigned to a worksite for 90-minute increments and will help build the interior and exterior walls of the home. Currently, volunteer opportunities are reserved for elected officials, special guests and sponsors.

At 3:45 p.m. today, the project will conclude with a special ceremony where elected officials and sponsors will raise the walls and welcome the family to their home.

Special to The Gazette

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