CENTERBURG — Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland Community Action Commission held an open house on Wednesday for its newly developed Heart of Ohio Homes in Centerburg. The event celebrated affordable living through the construction of 25 single-family homes.
Knox County Commissioner Allen Stockberger was among the key speakers during the program.
Stockberger, who is also chairman of the board of KHCA, said this project has been a part of the dream to assist families in affording their own homes.
“This project is intended to provide a hand up for people, not a handout,” he said, adding that as an organization, Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland has an opportunity to teach people how to be “good stewards” while owning their own home.
Based on the housing program, families will have the option to lease or to buy.
“This program is designed to avoid some of the pitfalls of the past. We at Kno-Ho-Co have placed counselors so if people want to be a homeowner we can enable them to be one, but we want people to be a successful homeowner,” said Stockberger. “And for many families, the American dream becomes a reality.”
Several partners of the project also spoke of the effort to bring the development to the community.
“We are happy to be investing back into the community we work in and to be a part of this project,” said Marla Evans of Nationwide Insurance. “This is exciting and is a wonderful opportunity for the people who will be moving in.”
Arthur Krauer of Ohio Housing Finance Agency, said, “This is a phenomenal project. ... This project is going to make a great deal of difference in the lives of those that move into these houses.”
“There are six three-bedroom homes and 19 four-bedroom homes that the highest rent is $625. This is a great opportunity for the new residents that are going to live here,” said John Kircher of Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing.
Guest were invited to tour the homes. Three of the homes in the development are one-story, ranch style, and handicap accessible. These homes also include other features important for those with disabilities such as lower countertops and utility switches for those in wheelchairs.
All of the homes in the development include a two-car garage, dining room, living room, kitchen, laundry area, covered porch, patio and two bathrooms.
The development of affordable homes comes at a vital time in the economy when many have lost their homes due to layoffs and job transitions.