HIT Foundation hosts housing forum


EATON — On Friday May 5, Home is the Foundation (H.I.T. Foundation) partnered with the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) to host Congressman Warren Davidson at the Residences at Eagles Point. The event was intended to promote the mission of the H.I.T Foundation: that we will champion affordable housing in Preble County at all income levels.

Advancing the housing needs at all incomes levels is vital to our community, as it helps businesses thrive, employees be productive workers, students succeed in their education. According to Director for Economic Development of the Preble County Development Partnership Justin Sommer, “Preble County is currently at the highest level of persons employed in the county in 15 years. Employers continue to create jobs, increasing demand for housing at all price points. As wages increase, there is upward pressure on home prices, creating fewer available and affordable housing options. While the housing shortage is a national issue, the effects are exacerbated in Preble County. In fact, there were as many new housing starts in the five-year period of 1998-2002 as there have been in the 20 years since. The lack of available housing in Preble County will constrict future economic growth potential.”

What is affordable housing? Defined by The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, affordable housing means the occupant is paying 30 percent or less of their gross income on total housing, including utilities. This goes for all of us. The higher percentage we pay on housing, the less money we have available for groceries, car repairs, medical bills, clothes, as well as repairs/maintenance for the home itself. Frequently, we see a lack of affordable housing for families with children, senior adults, and single adults; the lack of housing that is affordable often results in both adults and children living in overcrowded spaces and people sleeping on couches or beds in living rooms.

Additionally, there is a lack of affordable rentals for Preble County residents recovering from domestic violence, homelessness, illnesses, and those with disabilities. This lack of affordable housing is evidenced by the fact there are 50 households on the H.I.T. Foundation Affordable Housing waitlist and over 60 on the Preble County Metropolitan Housing Authority Housing Choice Voucher (Sec. 8) waitlist. This alone is over 100 qualified Preble County families in need of affordable housing who just cannot get it.

H.I.T. Foundation, along with local partner agencies, continues to work toward our vision that everyone in Preble County has a safe and affordable place to call home. We also welcome the involvement of those in our community, and you can help us achieve this vision by contacting your local officials about the need for affordable housing at all household income levels in Preble County.

Home is the Foundation would like to thank the panelist for sharing their time and experience at this event. Justin Sommer, Director for Economic Development Preble County Development Partnership. Congressman Warren Davidson, Amy Riegel, Executive Director, COHHIO, Amy Raynes, Executive Director Preble County Mental Health & Recovery Board, Allie Shafer, Supervisor and Community School Liaison, Eaton Community Schools. Thank you to the local elected officials in attendance at the event; which included Commissioner Adam Craft, Commissioner Rachel Vonderhaar and Judge Overmyer.

If you or someone you know is facing homelessness or mortgage foreclosure, Home Is The Foundation can be reached at 937-472-0500.

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