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Habitat for Humanity dedicates 1,101st Pennsylvania home

Habitat for Humanity dedicates 1,101st Pennsylvania home

HARRISBURG, Penn., June 16, 2004 — Concerned citizens and supporters will gather on June 16 at the state’s 1,101st Habitat home at 26 N. 13th Street, Harrisburg, PA, at 10:30 a.m. (EST), for the house dedication followed by a press conference at 11 a.m.

Speakers include Lisa Reitz, regional director, Northeast Regional Support Center of Habitat for Humanity International; Brian A. Hudson, Sr., executive director and CEO of Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency; Larry Segal, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Housing and Community Revitalization; and Veronica Rice, homeowner of Pennsylvania’s milestone home. Additionally, Habitat affiliates throughout the state will build homes or host special events to mark the occasion and to call attention to National Homeownership Month.

“Pennsylvania has taken tremendous steps toward addressing the state’s housing needs,” says David Williams, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Habitat international. “But there are many more hard-working families who now live in substandard conditions or in homes that are not affordable. With the help of individuals, civic groups, corporations, faith groups and governments we can all work to rebuild communities.”

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, nearly 11 percent of Pennsylvanians, and one out of every seven children, lives in poverty.

“With faith, hard work and dedication, Habitat for Humanity has helped make the Commonwealth a better place to call home for thousands of Commonwealth citizens. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency is proud to have been a part of this inspired effort, and is committing funds to make sure it continues,” noted Brian A. Hudson, Sr., the agency’s executive director and CEO.

Fifty-nine Habitat affiliates currently build 112 homes per year in Pennsylvania. With the completion of the 1,101st home, it is estimated that Habitat houses more than 4,000 people in the state.

Pennsylvania’s 1,101st Habitat house will be home to Veronica Rice and her son, Derrick. Veronica works as a receptionist and raised her three children in a house that was later condemned. Since that time, Veronica has been living in a too-small apartment paying a high proportion of her salary in rent. Veronica has difficulty walking up the stairs in her apartment because she has Lupus. Her new Habitat home is being built with wider doors and other design elements to allow Veronica easy access around the house.

Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is a Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. By the end of 2005, Habitat will have built its 200,000th house and more than one million people will be living in Habitat homes they helped build and are buying through no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. www.habitat.org