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Economy and Business

NE Ohio Habitats shift from new construction to rehabs
The silver lining of the housing collapse is cheaper homes for the housing charity

Amy Cooknick
In The Region:

Local Habitat for Humanity affiliates are shifting their focus from building new homes to rehabbing old ones.

It’s part of Habitat International’s Neighborhood Revitalization.

Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity launched the program today  in Slavic Village and in the Lower Kinsman neighborhood. And Executive Director John Habat says the affiliate is switching entirely to rehabs.

HABAT on Cleveland
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“It coincides with, basically, economic realities. What happened as a result of the foreclosure crisis in Cleveland is that there are thousands of vacant houses, many of which have good structures that can be rehabbed. So what we’ve found is that we could rehab three or four existing houses compared to just building a new house and helping one family.”

Habat says the Greater Cleveland group plans to rehabilitate 12 houses in the area this year, which should boost the entire neighborhood.

Another local Habitat affiliate, which covers Stark and Carroll Counties, has doubled the number of rehabilitations it does over the past year. Rehabs and new construction are now split about 50-50.

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