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ArcelorMittal and Habitat join forces to improve housing conditions of slums in Argentina

September 3, 2011

International ArcelorMittal employees from seven countries, as well as 25 local staff members, will help residents of the 22 de Enero settlement lay foundations for their new homes.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (September 5, 2011) – A team of 35 ArcelorMittal employees are on their way to one of Buenos Aires’ most poverty-stricken regions to help lay the foundation for three new homes. The project is part of Habitat for Humanity Argentina’s new initiative to build simple, adequate housing with the residents of the “22 de Enero” neighborhood.

22 de Enero, located in the municipality of La Matanza, Buenos Aires, one of the most marginalized zones of the Argentine capital city. It lacks proper infrastructure, such as public transportation and viable roads, and houses more than 1.1 million residents – 22,000 of these in the 22 de Enero neighborhood alone.

There are no proper water systems in the area. Water sources are deep underground and far from the settlement, making it difficult for residents to access clean water for their daily needs. Most homes are built of corrugated tin and cardboard. In addition, many households are drastically overcrowded, leading to increased instances of domestic violence.

Habitat for Humanity Argentina has worked in the La Matanza municipality for the past three years, in partnership with the Concordia Foundation, a local development organization. Habitat’s program helps extremely low-income families who are living in slum conditions to obtain micro-loans for basic home improvements or the construction of complete houses, depending on their needs.

The volunteers will work alongside residents of the 22 de Enero settlement. Eleven international ArcelorMittal employees from seven different countries, along with 25 staff members from the company’s various local offices will spend a week working side-by-side with three Habitat partner families to lay the foundation for their new homes.

ArcelorMittal, the world’s top steelmaker, has teamed up with Habitat to build and renovate hundreds of homes, as well as to create a groundbreaking model for a durable, safe and affordable steel-framed house. The first examples of this partnership were unveiled in Moinesti, Romania, where 12 families are now living in new, steel-framed homes.

“ArcelorMittal and Habitat for Humanity have been working together since 2008. The Solidarity Holidays that we are organizing with Habitat is a great opportunity for our employees to spend time in a foreign country, learn a different country, while working a s volunteer in a project to benefit our communities,” said Nathalie Rehaen, ArcelorMittal Foundation’s project manager Americas.

In the past three years, the ArcelorMittal Foundation has helped Habitat for Humanity to support more than 700 families around the world. ArcelorMittal employees have volunteered on Habitat construction sites in Latin America, Africa and Europe. In addition to building and renovating, the ArcelorMittal Foundation has generously supported Habitat for Humanity’s reconstruction efforts in Haiti. To date, steel donated by ArcelorMittal has been used in 310 transitional shelters for earthquake-affected families in Haiti, with plans to build an additional 1,900 units.

About ArcelorMittal
ArcelorMittal is the world’s leading steel company, with operations in more than 60 countries. ArcelorMittal is the leader in all major global steel markets, including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging, with leading R&D and technology, as well as sizeable captive supplies of raw materials and outstanding distribution networks. The ArcelorMittal Foundation acts as a philanthropic arm of the company. Find out more at www.arcelormittal.com.

About Habitat for Humanity Latin America and the Caribbean
Habitat for Humanity first opened its doors in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in 1979, and has since helped more than 100,000 low-income families to access adequate housing in the region. Headquartered in San Jose, Costa Rica, the Latin America and Caribbean regional office coordinates the efforts of 16 national organizations, as well as unique partnerships throughout the region. For more information, visit habitatlatino.org.

Learn more about Habitat for Humanity in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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