As a lifelong carpenter, Doug Lodge is dedicated to efficient housing. “This is something I believe in so I just keep showing up,” said Lodge. “It’s rewarding.”
Lodge is helping the non-profit Common Roots rehabilitate its first housing project on South Main Street in Meadville. Once completed, it will provide shelter for four families. “We’re putting this back together in a way that someone would want to live here and want to even buy into it.” said Lodge.
The organization acquires blighted and unwanted properties and converts them into affordable and energy-efficient homes for low-income residents. “Honestly, the last few months, we’ve seen rents skyrocketing, just like they are all over the country,” said Common Roots Board of Directors President Julie Wilson. “We really see this cooperative model as a way to keep housing affordable for the long term for people.”
Wilson says the need is tremendous for more affordable housing in Meadville. “Over 50 percent of city residents are struggling to make ends meet,” said Wilson. “They can’t afford basic necessities, so there is just a huge demand for quality, truly affordable housing.”
Thanks to donations from Crawford Gives Day, the organization is receiving a $30,000 boost. “All the money raised at Crawford Gives, is designed to help us level up and hire our first staff.” said Wilson.
For more information on Common Roots, visit their website.
This story is supported by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.