You are here

Mortgage bankers take up hammers with Habitat for Humanity

Mortgage bankers help highlight affordable housing crisis in California

WASHINGTON (Oct. 21, 2004) – Mortgage bankers from around the country will work on a Habitat house to underscore the need for affordable housing opportunities for American families. The volunteers will build the frame of a Habitat house in the Hillside neighborhood of Daly City, located just outside San Francisco.

A partnership among the Mortgage Bankers Association, Peninsula Habitat for Humanity and a host of corporate sponsors, the volunteer build and wall-raising event will be held on Oct. 23, preceding the 91st Annual Mortgage Bankers Convention & Expo, Oct. 24-27. Mortgage bankers and the Laquindanum family, the Habitat homeowner partners, will be joined by mayor of Daly City, Sal Torres, Congressman Tom Lantos and California Assemblyman Leland Y. Yee, who will all speak at a morning program.

“This Habitat build provides another way for MBA and our members to reach out to the community and spread the American dream of Homeownership,” said Rob Couch, CMB, MBA chair, president and chief executive officer, New South Federal Savings Bank. “Our ongoing efforts to provide decent, affordable housing for families will make a difference in the San Francisco area and across the country.”

Each year, MBA sponsors the construction of a home in the host city of its annual convention. In recent years, the organization has held such volunteer events in San Diego, Boston and Toronto. In 1998, MBA entered into a national partnership with Habitat for Humanity International to address the issue of poverty housing in the United States. As a result, MBA has sponsored the construction of 56 Habitat houses throughout the United States and Canada, representing almost $3 million in financial contribution by the organization.

Tom Jones, vice president, Habitat for Humanity International said, “This build has special significance for Habitat for Humanity, particularly since we are building in California, which is one of the nation’s least affordable states in terms of housing. It highlights the exorbitant cost of homeownership in this country and sends the message that sustainable solutions are needed now rather than later. ”

According to the San Mateo County Office of Housing, the median price for a single-family home is $772,000, up 18 percent from last year. Consequently, a report by the Housing Leadership Council indicates that only 12 percent to 15 percent of households in San Mateo County can afford to buy a single-family home. This three-bedroom home will cost the Laquindanum family approximately $225,000.

The Habitat house is sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association, Buyers Fund-Neighborhood Gold, First Horizon Home Loan Corp. Gallagher Financial Systems, Inc., GreenPoint Mortgage, MidAmerica Bank, New Century Financial, Option One Mortgage/H.R. Block Mortgage, the PMI Foundation and Future Leaders, an MBA program.

About the construction site
This Habitat construction site is located in the Hillside community of Daly City and once housed a family-owned flower nursery, which ceased production as a result of competition with European flowers flown to U.S. markets. After being left vacant for 10 years, the land was sold to Daly City, which, in turn, gave it to Peninsula Habitat for Humanity to build affordable houses. In 2004, the affiliate and the community began construction of seven two- and three-bedroom single-family homes. One of the houses is a wheelchair accessible, one-story unit that allows complete wheelchair mobility throughout the home.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical 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.

About the Mortgage Bankers Association
The Mortgage Bankers Association is the national association representing the real estate finance industry, an industry that employs more than 400,000 people in virtually every community in the country. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the association works to ensure the continued strength of the nation’s residential and commercial real estate markets; to expand homeownership prospects through increased affordability; and to extend access to affordable housing to all Americans. Its membership of approximately 2,900 companies includes all elements of real estate finance: mortgage companies, mortgage brokers, commercial banks, thrifts, life insurance companies and others in the mortgage lending field. www.mortgagebankers.org.

About Peninsula Habitat for Humanity
Peninsula Habitat for Humanity was established in 1989 and has qualified and selected 82 motivated and capable families with low incomes, who now own their own homes: 42 townhouses, 24 condominiums, and 16 single-family houses. Building houses with diverse individuals and organizations enables PHFH to change lives, improve relationships and revitalize communities. More than 22,000 volunteers have participated in the building of these homes impacting the lives of 407 family members including 254 children. Families work 500 hours of “sweat equity” on their house and on the houses of other families. In fiscal year 2004-2005, Peninsula Habitat is celebrating its15th year and is building 11 houses in Daly City, seven houses in Brisbane and four houses in South San Francisco.