BY PHIL WHEELER
Habitat for Humanity (HFH) of Ottawa County has built or refurbished 26 homes in Ottawa County, and the agency just turned over the keys to Number 27 to Jason and Veronica Mattlen.
The Mattlen’s new home had been built on a lot in the Village of Genoa donated by Land Bank of Ottawa County. The Mattlens took possession on Thursday, Sept. 2. The construction of the house had been delayed for more than six months due to Covid-19 and the pandemic’s effect on obtaining building materials.
HFH is a non-governmental, nonprofit organization. Funding comes from grants or donations. In addition, money from 0% mortgages on the homes is used to fund new construction. HFH is a Christian organization.
HFH works toward its vision by building strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with families in need of decent and affordable housing. They are a partnership, not a giveaway program. Homeowner families buy the houses that it builds or renovates.
Homeowners also invest hundreds of hours of their own labor working alongside volunteers.
“The Mattlens have over 500 hours of sweat equity invested in their new home,” said Executive Director Debi Heiks of Habitat for Humanity of Ottawa County. “That is something we believe in, getting ownership and having them feel like they were a part of building this house.
“I can’t thank the community enough. I have been with HFH for almost three years, now, and Ottawa County has been so loving and giving. I feel really blessed that I live in a county where people are so helping and gracious.”
To learn more about this wonderful organization, contact Heiks at 419-734-7074, or visit their website at www.HabitatOttawaCounty.org.