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Habitat Homes Get Connected Thanks to REALTORS

Habitat Homes Get Connected Thanks to REALTORS

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan Habitat for Humanity homes will soon be equipped with free refurbished computers thanks to “REALTORS: Connecting Families to Their Future.”

The Connecting Partnership works like this: State agencies, private organizations and other groups donate used computers to the State of Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC). Prisoners in the Ryan Correctional Facility (Detroit) recondition the computers and outfit them with new software and hardware at a cost of $150 each. The Michigan Association of REALTORS(r) (MAR) pays the refurbishment expense, and the computers are presented to Habitat for Humanity families.

“A computer will make such a big difference in my children’s education,” said Elton Johnson, the first Habitat for Humanity Home owner to receive a computer from the new partnership. “It means so much to have so many groups involved and working to make our home an even better place raise a family.”

Research has shown that 25 percent of children get better grades after moving into a Habitat for Humanity home and 68 percent of the families experience an income increase. Dr. Ken Benson, president Habitat for Humanity of Michigan (MFHM), hopes that introducing computers into the environment will strengthen these numbers even more.

“These computers will give families a great opportunity to further their children’s education, especially their understanding of computers, which is so important in today’s society,” Bensen said. “We can expect to see better grades in Habitat homes because of this extraordinary statewide community partnership between the REALTORS(r) and Department of Corrections.”

The Michigan Association of REALTORS(r) sees the partnership as an opportunity to enhance an already strong commitment to Habitat, according to Dave Ledebuhr, president, Michigan Association of REALTORS(r).

“The REALTORS believe that everyone benefits from a strong investment in local communities,” Ledebuhr said. “We are proud to be a part of this new, unique and exciting partnership that will make a real difference to Habitat home owners.”

“Giving the REALTORS’ Lansing Habitat home the first computer from this partnership is fitting,” said Dale Tierney, president-elect, Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS(r). “We’re very proud of our commitment to build homes in the Greater Lansing area, and to assist in the family’s education after the home has been built.”

The refurbished computers will be equipped with Windows 95 or 98 (systems assembled after 8/13/02 will have Windows 98), a Pentium processor or equivalent (100 MHz minimum), 32 MB of RAM, 1 GB hard drive, 3.5” (1.44 MB) floppy drive, CD-ROM drive, sound card, a monitor (14-15”), a modem, speakers, a keyboard, and a mouse.

“The Connecting Partnership will provide Habitat homes with some of the latest software and hardware technologies,” said Lloyd Kimbrell, administrator, Michigan State Industries, Michigan Department of Corrections. “Our goal isn’t just to give the family any old computer, but to give them one that can keep up with modern technology.”

Davenport University, Gateway, and several community members have donated computers so far.

Of the 2,000 Michigan Habitat for Humanity homeowners: 68 percent report an increase in family income, 25 percent report better grades in school, 23 percent report less sickness, 58 percent report less family conflict, and 40 percent report going on to get additional education, highlighting the importance of education in the home.

The Michigan Association of REALTORS(r) was established in 1915 and works to protect and promote the private property rights of Michigan’s citizens while serving as the primary source for Michigan housing and real estate data. Association members work throughout the state in residential, commercial and investment real estate as well as appraising. MAR is comprised of 44 local REALTOR(r) associations.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity International, visit our website at http://www.habitat.org.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 2,000 communities in 83 nations have built and sold more than 120,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.