GOING GREEN: Mitchells move into new Oberlin sunshine house built by Zion CDC


Danna Mitchell and her daught Nia cut a ribbon on their front porch

Danna Mitchell and her daught Nia cut a ribbon on their front porch


Photos by Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune Danna Mitchell and daughters Nia and Jasmine cut a ribbon surrounding their home’s front porch.


Residents wait inside the energy efficent home’s living room.


Zion CDC housing specialist Casey Gilfether hands over the houses key to owner Danna Mitchell.


Danna Mitchell and daughters Nia and Jasmine stand inside their new home.


Solar panels are installed on the south side of the house.


Zion CDC’s first energy-efficent home has been built in 11 months.


Danna Mitchell and her daught Nia cut a ribbon on their front porch
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2015/10/web1_IMG_9232.jpgDanna Mitchell and her daught Nia cut a ribbon on their front porch

Photos by Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune Danna Mitchell and daughters Nia and Jasmine cut a ribbon surrounding their home’s front porch.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2015/10/web1_IMG_9252.jpg

Photos by Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune Danna Mitchell and daughters Nia and Jasmine cut a ribbon surrounding their home’s front porch.

Residents wait inside the energy efficent home’s living room.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2015/10/web1_IMG_9258.jpgResidents wait inside the energy efficent home’s living room.

Zion CDC housing specialist Casey Gilfether hands over the houses key to owner Danna Mitchell.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2015/10/web1_IMG_9263.jpgZion CDC housing specialist Casey Gilfether hands over the houses key to owner Danna Mitchell.

Danna Mitchell and daughters Nia and Jasmine stand inside their new home.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2015/10/web1_IMG_9281.jpgDanna Mitchell and daughters Nia and Jasmine stand inside their new home.

Solar panels are installed on the south side of the house.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2015/10/web1_IMG_9282.jpgSolar panels are installed on the south side of the house.

Zion CDC’s first energy-efficent home has been built in 11 months.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2015/10/web1_IMG_9287.jpgZion CDC’s first energy-efficent home has been built in 11 months.

The new owners of an energy efficient home in Oberlin move in this week.

Danna Mitchell and daughters Nia and Jasmine were eager to step inside their sunshine house Saturday at 121 Smith St. prior to a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of Zion Community Development Corporation’s first green home.

The 1,483-square-foot, two-story home with three bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths was designed by Kent State University student Lydia Karoscik.

The plans were showcased to residents in February 2014 by Zion CDC and the Oberlin Project. Construction began on the energy efficient home in October 2014.

The new house is valued at an estimated $150,000.

Danna said she came in nearly every day during the 11 months of construction to take pictures and check on her new home.

“Danna’s just an everyday single mom trying to make it work and she thought that home ownership was not going to be an option for her and we were able to make it possible,” said Zion CDC interim director Alan Mitchell, who is not related to Danna.

Danna was amazed by the woodwork inside the home, colors on the wall, and the attention to detail workers took in building her home. “It’s been an amazing year,” she said. “It’s a dream come true.”

One unique aspect of this home is its energy and water use will be monitored on Oberlin College’s environmental dashboard for everyone to see — even Kent State University students, Mitchell said.

“The more of these we build and understand how people live in them, the better we’ll do,” said Zion CDC housing specialist Casey Gilfether. Zion CDC plans to use the dashboard information from the new home to build better energy-efficient homes.

Zion CDC aims to build more green homes and rehabilitate existing ones citywide to meet higher performance metrics, Mitchell said.

“It’s an investment in the community, it’s an investment in each individual, and it’s an investment in Oberlin,” he said.

The organization has already begun its second project at 289 Lincoln St., an overhaul of an existing two-bedroom home that Zion CDC plans to transform into a four-bedroom house for a single mother who is currently renting.

Anyone interested in a sunshine home has to meet certain requirements: no bankruptcy in the last three years, no charge-offs in the last six months, a credit score of 650 or better, and be interested in living in Oberlin or work in town.

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.