Fourth Habitat for Humanity home will be built in Cuyahoga Falls

City looking to buy Germaine Street parcel for project

Phil Keren
Kent Weeklies
Habitat for Humanity of Summit County is planning to build a single-family home on this lot on Germaine Street in Cuyahoga Falls. This will be the fourth home that Habitat for Humanity builds in the Falls.

CUYAHOGA FALLS — Habitat for Humanity of Summit County will build its fourth home in the city.

City Council on Jan. 4 discussed legislation that, if approved, would have the city spend $55,000 to purchase a vacant parcel on Germaine Street from River Run Commons LLC and then donate the property to Habitat for Humanity of Summit County. 

Council is scheduled to vote on the legislation on Monday, Jan. 11.

Habitat for Humanity is planning to build a single-family home with a two-car garage on the site for a low-to-moderate income level family. Community Development Director Diana Colavecchio said a family of four with an annual income of $61,000 or less would qualify to become owners of the home, according to the latest data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She added the new homeowner must assist with the construction of the house.

When she became the city's community development director, Colavecchio said one of her goals was to "do more to develop the older neighborhoods in our city, especially east of the river and that's where this project takes us."

Colavecchio said city officials located a lot on Germaine Street that was both buildable and for sale. The owner accepted the city's offer to purchase the parcel at the appraised value of $55,000. Since Community Development Block Grant money is being used for the project, Colavecchio said the city is required to buy the property at the appraised value. The city has set up an agreement to donate the land to Habitat, which will build a home at the site. She noted that Habitat still needs to locate a qualified and willing buyer of the home.

Rochelle Sibbio, president & CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, said once her agency is officially the owner of the property, the parcel will be listed in Habitat's land portfolio, where it can be viewed by qualifying families for potential acquisition. Once Habitat owns the land, the agency has three years to build the home on the site. Sibbio said that projects that are being planned this year will begin construction next year.

Council members praised the plans for Habitat to build another home in the city.

"I think any time we can get Habitat for Humanity to help with the vacant lots is wonderful," said Council member Meika Marie Penta (D-3).

Council member Mary Nichols-Rhodes (D-4) said there will be opportunities to volunteer to work on the construction of the new home.

"It's a very nice, community-building kind of a thing," said Nichols-Rhodes.

Habitat for Humanity of Summit County has built three other homes in Cuyahoga Falls, two on Magnolia Avenue and one on School Avenue.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@thebeaconjournal.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.