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Habitat, community bankers to tackle poverty issues

Habitat for Humanity International establishes alliance with Independent Community Bankers

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2004 — Habitat for Humanity International and the Independent Community Bankers of America are establishing a national alliance to address poverty housing and the lack of affordable homes in the United States.

The alliance will encourage Habitat for Humanity affiliates and community banks across the country to form local alliances to address local need. The organizations signed the alliance during ICBA’s annual meeting of community banking leaders in Washington

The HFHI-ICBA alliance will serve as a vehicle to establish local relationships between Habitat’s nearly 1,700 United States-based affiliates and community banks in their areas where there is the greatest need. There are more than 8,800 community banks across the country, including commercial banks and savings and loans. ICBA represents the largest constituency of community banks in the nation.

The alliance will include the launch of ICBA National Build Day, in which staff and leadership of community banks will work on Habitat for Humanity construction sites across the country to build houses with low-income families. The first ICBA National Build Day will be in 2005.

“This partnership holds exciting opportunities for Habitat for Humanity and community banks,” said Tom Jones, vice president, Habitat for Humanity International. “Manifested at the local level, these groups will leverage their resources, expertise and skills to help families better their lives and their communities.”

ICBA’s goal is to raise a minimum of $120,000 to support construction of Habitat houses. The group will establish an Independent Community Bankers of America Fund to manage donations from ICBA members. ICBA will also work with Habitat’s international office to organize additional volunteer build days with community banks across the country.

“Community banks help millions of Americans realize the dream of homeownership every day,” said Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of ICBA. “Many of our members already work with Habitat for Humanity in their local communities. This alliance merely strengthens the common goal between ICBA and Habitat to help provide housing for every family possible.”

About ICBA
ICBA represents the largest constituency of community banks in the nation and is dedicated exclusively to protecting the interests of the community banking industry. ICBA aggregates the power of its members to provide a voice for community banking interests in Washington, resources to enhance community bank education and marketability, and profitability options to help community banks compete in an ever-changing marketplace. www.icba.org.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a 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 3,000 communities in 92 nations have built and sold more than 150,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. www.habitat.org.