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Habitat Launches Campaign, Names Chairman

Habitat Launches Campaign, Names Chairman

Washington, D.C. - Feb. 4 1998 - Jack Kemp today was named chairman of a new initiative by Habitat for Humanity International to vastly expand homeownership and eliminate substandard housing worldwide.

Kemp, co-director of Empower America and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, will spearhead Habitat’s “Rebuilding Our Communities Campaign,” a $200-million capital drive. The campaign will provide matching grants and awards to Habitat affiliates for local home building and assist the international organization in realizing its mission of providing affordable housing wherever people are in need of a simple, decent place to live.

Kemp’s appointment as chairman was announced by Millard Fuller, president and founder of Habitat, during ceremonies at Howard University. Howard officials recently donated two single-family houses for housing rehabilitation.

“Raising awareness of substandard housing and the urgent need to address the problem are the largest challenges we face with an initiative of the magnitude of Habitat’s Rebuilding Our Communities Campaign,” Fuller said. “Jack Kemp has demonstrated through his public service and his personal volunteerism that he knows that a front-door key unlocks more than a home to those who have never had a secure, comfortable place to live and raise a family. We’re honored that he has joined us in this effort to make homeownership more attainable to low-income families.”

Kemp said, “I am very honored to be affiliated with Habitat for Humanity, whose mission is one of the noblest I can think of. Just as the original Homestead Act of the 1860s connected homeownership with enterprise - private homeownership is essential today for the whole movement for creating entrepreneurship and job opportunities.”

The “Rebuilding Our Communities Campaign” (ROCC) is a special initiative to raise $200 million by the year 2000. As many as 50,000 additional families will receive the help because of ROCC, both in the United States and throughout the world. It is possible that some 300,000 men, women and children will be assisted through this effort.

The donated homes, located on Hobart Place N.W. near Howard University, will be rehabilitated by Habitat’s affiliate in the District of Columbia. Kemp is a trustee of Howard University and jointly announced the project with Carol Casperson, executive director of D.C. Habitat for Humanity.

D. C. Habitat for Humanity has built 39 homes in the nation’s capital, including two houses built last fall by members of the U.S. House of Representatives and two “Labor for Habitat” houses that are currently under construction.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian housing ministry founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller along with his wife, Linda. It works in partnership with people in need, building simple, decent shelter that is sold at no profit, through no-interest mortgages. With affiliates around the globe, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 60,000 houses, sheltering more than 300,000 people.