Kate and Dave D’Agati, of Marysville, help their daughters sign their names on the framing of walls for their new home at the Habitat for Humanity of Ohio Statehouse Build event April 11. The event celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and raised awareness about the importance of affordable housing in Ohio. During the event, 250 volunteers constructed the framing of the first story of the 1,250-square-foot home for the family. The family has dedicated 125 hours of sweat equity toward the house, and are gearing up to serve 175 more hours before the house is fully constructed.
Helpings hands are always available in Union County, but sometimes that requires a little bit of sweat.
Well, sweat equity, that is, and 300 hours of it. And, after volunteering their sweat equity for Habitat for Humanity of Delaware and Union Counties, Dave and Kate D’Agati, of Marysville, were able to secure themselves a home to be built later this year.
“It really hit at a perfect time in our lives,” Kate said. “When this opportunity came up and we learned about the volunteering needed, I was free to start volunteering.”
Dave is a school teacher with Columbus Preparatory Academy and Kate stays at home raising their two children. The family needed to find a home, but faced financial challenges.
After applying to have a home built for them and learning about construction and home ownership, the family developed relationships with the Delaware and Marysville communities which helped them along the way.
“The most wonderful part of the process was making these relationships and connections,” Kate said. “Having so many people just wanting to be on your team and see you succeed is a wonderful thing.”
The couple sent an application to Habitat for Humanity in September and has been racking up sweat equity hours since November. The D’Agati family is currently at 125 hours and needs to get 300 by early to mid fall.
Kate said she and Dave have been volunteering as much time as they can by taking construction and homeowner classes, working at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, helping out in the office and getting the kids together to deliver lunch to other volunteers on the job.
“We both really enjoy the construction aspect because there’s a lot of learning involved,” Kate said. “That’s a great thing when you’re owning a home, to learn how to fix things around the house.”
Kate said she believes they can get the 300 hours of sweat equity before the house is finished in fall. She said Dave will be off for summer vacation and many family members and friends will be able to volunteer in their name.
“We’re no different than any other family when it comes to our long term goals,” she said. “We want our kids to grow up in a safe community, be good members of the community and to have them participate in the things we have done and joined.”
Dave and Kate have been working with the Habitat for Humanity in Delaware, which grew to incorporate Union County in July, 2016.
Todd Miller, director of the Union County Habitat for Humanity, said there have been 61 homes built in Delaware County and four homes in Union County through the housing program. He said the organization now has the goal of building at least one home a year in Union County.
Miller said organization started construction of the home at the statehouse in Columbus Wednesday, and is expected to be transported to Marysville soon. When it’s finished, Miller said the home will be sold to the D’Agati family with a “zero-interest, affordable mortgage.”
The construction came at the heels of the organization’s 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.
He said the organization is proud of being a “hand up” rather than a “hand out,” as it helps people find affordable housing and get them going at their own pace for success. He said the organization believes affordable housing has a positive effect on families.
“We’re excited for this opportunity to partner with Dave and Kate to get them into an affordable home that will serve their family for years to come,” Miller said.
He said Habitat for Humanity is open to anyone volunteering, and works with them based on their construction experiences.
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