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  • Ohio National and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati kick off new home construction

    Event commemorates start of 27th local Habitat home funded by Ohio National since 2009. Ohio National Financial Services, Inc. and longtime community partner Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati will host a pre-framing ceremony at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, June 10 at the Habitat Training Annex in Norwood. Following the ceremony, volunteers from Ohio National will begin constructing the walls of a new home to be built this summer at 434 Dexter Ave. in Cincinnati. Ohio National recently pledged $500,000 over the next four years to fund the construction of four new Habitat homes, including the Dexter property. Since 2009, Ohio National has donated more than $2.3 million to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati, resulting in the completion of 26 homes to date. To qualify for a Habitat home, families must contribute a minimum of 250 hours of sweat equity and take classes on homeownership and personal finance. Families purchase their homes from Habitat with a 30-year, interest-free mortgage. “There are so many hard-working families in our community who are ready to own their own home,” said Barbara Turner, President and CEO of Ohio National. “That’s why we’ve continued our long-standing partnership with Habitat and have committed to fund a new home every year through 2025.” “The people of Ohio National recognize how important affordable homeownership is to the future of our community,” said Ed Lee, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati. “We’re proud to have them as our longest-running major corporate partner.” Since its inception in 1987, The Ohio National Foundation has donated more than $29 million to charitable causes, including $1.6 million in 2021

  • Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati earned two LEED Gold certifications for Evanston homes

    Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati (HFHGC) recently achieved LEED Gold certification for two homes built in the Evanston neighborhood of Cincinnati. This is the seventh LEED certificate HFHGC has earned for new homes built in partnership with first-time homebuyers. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati is committed to building 9 affordable homes in Evanston over the next few years- all with the goal of LEED certification. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building issued by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED projects earn points by adhering to prerequisites and credits across nine measurements for building excellence from integrative design to human health to material use. Gold is the second highest rating, earning 60-79 points. “This commitment changes very little about the way we build,” says Adam Nelson, Property Acquisition and Design Manger at Habitat Greater Cincinnati. “Every Habitat home in Greater Cincinnati is built to LEED standards. Our homes are designed to be modestly sized and well insulated resulting in less energy usage for the homeowner. By building smaller homes, we reduce carbon emissions in the sourcing and building process as well. We primarily build homes on lots with existing infrastructure. Reusing existing materials is an important part of green design.” While all Habitat homes are built according to LEED standards, not every home goes through the certification process, which according to the Green Home Institute, can cost on average an additional $3,000. However, for LEED-certified homes in Cincinnati, the 10-year property tax-abatement incentive from the City is worth the investment for Habitat Greater Cincinnati. This benefit ensures that Habitat homes will remain affordable for low-income homeowners in neighborhoods facing gentrification such as Evanston. Tyleah Pleasant, Evanston Habitat homeowner, says, “having a 10-year tax abatement is a blessing. Something I’m forever grateful for." Sustainable building practices are a top priority for Habitat for Humanity. In addition to healthier environments and lower carbon emissions, sustainable homes reduce monthly energy costs for residents. In its 2016 report, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) identified the Cincinnati metropolitan region as having the ninth worst energy affordability of 48 major metro regions in the country. Much of this burden falls on low-income households which are more likely to live in older homes and apartment buildings that are extremely inefficient. “Our new home stays a whole lot warmer than where we were before. Our bills already seem cheaper. It helps that we don’t have to have a space heater constantly running to keep it bearable like before,” says new Habitat homeowner Kristina.

  • Habitat of Greater Cincinnati's Top Executive Announces Retirement

    April 7, 2022 CINCINNATI, OH – Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati (HFHGC) President & CEO Ed Lee has announced his retirement from the organization later in 2022. Lee joined the organization as Executive Director in 2010 following a 29-year career at Procter & Gamble. During his tenure, HFHGC has grown in its service to local families, building an organizational infrastructure that is more innovative and sustainable. The progress that HFHGC made under his leadership directly contributed to MacKenzie Scott’s decision to choose Greater Cincinnati as one of the Habitat affiliates to benefit from her recent $436 million investment. Lee led the merger of Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity with TriState Habitat for Humanity to create one of the country’s largest Habitat affiliates, serving nine counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Prior to being chosen to lead the organization, Lee began volunteering in 2001, first as a build site volunteer, then chair of Habitat’s Eastside Coalition, finally a member of the board of directors. Since Lee took the helm, more than 250 local families have closed on their first home in partnership with Habitat. According to Lee, it’s all about the families Habitat serves, which accounts for the thousands of people the organization has impacted during his tenure. He takes every opportunity to make sure that the families are recognized for the hard work and financial investment that they put in to become first-time homebuyers. “Habitat is not a giveaway program,” he said. “It is a true partnership in helping more families achieve self-sufficiency.” He has also worked to raise awareness of Habitat’s roots in racial equity and its role in increasing homeownership opportunities for people of color. Lee made crucial innovations in the three primary sources of growth for the organization — charitable donations, loan repayments, and ReStore revenue — which leaves a legacy of long-term stability for the organization. Results include: expanding the ReStore social enterprise from one to five stores regionally growing philanthropic support, including a multiyear corporate campaign and a modernized fundraising infrastructure improving the availability of mortgage revenue through partnership with local banks. He has also committed to collaborative partnerships in communities where Habitat builds, including: working with Community Learning Center Institute and Community Matters to raise the level of homeownership in Lower Price Hill, creating new home construction in Lincoln Heights in partnership with the Mayor and Hamilton County Community Development, preserving historic buildings while creating homeownership opportunities in the West End with Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses, The Port, and the City of Cincinnati. HFHGC has been recognized as a Top Workplace by the Cincinnati Enquirer, in the top 25 largest homebuilders in the region by Cincinnati Business Courier, and as a Top 45 Habitat affiliate nationwide. Lee received a Second Act Award from the Business Courier and has served in multiple leadership positions with Habitat for Humanity International, including the U.S. Council, which sets policy for national affiliates. “I am thankful to Ed for his leadership in Cincinnati and nationally; he has made a positive and truly meaningful impact on our mission,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “I'm particularly grateful for his leadership in the Habitat affiliate community. Ed’s wisdom and grace have been essential to the progress of our collaborative work to serve more families, and his leadership by example has helped shape innovative new ways for Habitat to address the affordable housing crisis.” HFHGC Board Chair Amanda Hill said, “We are incredibly grateful for the leadership and service Ed has given to Habitat. He has left his fingerprint on the organization, including an exciting long-range vision, an award-winning organization, and creating affordable housing for hundreds of families in the Greater Cincinnati area.” HFHGC’s board will conduct a search for Lee’s successor, supported by Gilman Partners of Cincinnati. “We will conduct a thorough and careful search for a CEO who can shepherd our renewed five-year strategic plan, with the goal to serve one family for every day of the year,” Hill said.

  • Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati Receives "catalytic" $436M gift from MacKenzie Scott

    CINCINNATI, OH (March 22, 2022) — Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati (HFHGC), along with Habitat for Humanity International, and 83 U.S. Habitat affiliate organizations, recently received $436 million in unrestricted giving from American author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Of that, Habitat Greater Cincinnati received $7.5 million to serve more families in Greater Cincinnati. This transformational donation will substantially help further Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has equitable access to a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home. “We are humbled by MacKenzie Scott’s generosity and her trust in our ability to steward her investment wisely. This remarkable gift will have a catalytic impact on our mission to partner with families to build strength, stability, and self-reliance,” said Ed Lee, HFHGC President & CEO. “This is an unprecedented gift for our organization. It is an honor to be part of this group and we are excited about the transformation this investment can make.” The need for affordable housing in our region is great. Habitat for Humanity is part of a continuum of solutions that includes government, private enterprise, and nonprofit providers. HFHGC will leverage this gift to move forward with a five-year strategic plan that expands the number of families served through traditional homeownership and repair programs, while seeking new ways to build self-sufficiency through financial literacy and construction workforce development. HFHGC will continue to prioritize equitable practices within our communities and in our organization. Habitat International will use its $25 million portion of the donation to prioritize advocacy and programmatic efforts designed to dismantle systemic racism in housing. Specifically, the donation will allow Habitat to advocate for policy proposals and legislation that enable millions of people access affordable housing through its Cost of Home advocacy campaign; increase Black homeownership in the U.S. by targeting current systemic barriers through a new initiative that will launch this summer; and leverage innovative capital investments that service communities of color. “Habitat works to break down barriers and bring people together — to tear down obstacles and build a world where everyone, no matter who we are or where we come from, has a decent place to live,” said Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford. “This incredible gift helps make that work possible.” For more information contact Sarah Reynolds,

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