Victims of Memorial Day tornadoes can now become homeowners thanks to new ‘Pathways Project’

Local News

TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) — Wednesday, the Tornado Survivor Pathway to Homeownership program broke ground on a new home being built for victims of the Memorial Day Tornadoes.

Currently, there are two homes on Marlin Avenue in Trotwood that are a part of the program. One is being rehabilitated, the second is being built from the ground up. However, both are reserved for former renters displaced by the Memorial Day Tornadoes who wish to return and live in Trotwood.

“This program originally came about because some of our volunteer build partners asked what more they could do and we developed this program,” explained Laura Mercer executive director of the Miami Valley Long Term Recovery Operations Group (MVLTROG).

Since 2019, donors and volunteers with MVLTROG have been helping renters get new leases and homeowners repair their houses after the tornado.

But this latest Pathways Project offers a new fresh start for current renters displaced by the tornadoes.

“They’re in this new place but its not really home …We give them a game plan so hopefully in two years they’re ready for the homes that are being built,” said Marva Williams-Parker, administrative coordinator with the Homeownership Center of Greater Dayton.

Williams-Parker says most of the families she’s working with in the Pathways Project say they want to stay in Trotwood. Trotwood Mayor, Mary McDonald, says new homeowners can help the city grow.

“Having the opportunity of knowing they own a piece of the city of Trotwood is phenomenal because that’s what having those keys in your hands really means; ‘I invested in this community [and] I’m a part of this community,'” explained Mayor McDonald.

Right now 17 families are being helped through the program and there is plenty of room for more

“With the money we make, we’re building new homes so as many people as possible that we can help we will,” said Williams-Parker.

For more information on qualifications and applying for that Pathways Project, click here.

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