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Homebuilders to help Habitat build 1,000 homes in a week

Homebuilders to help Habitat for Humanity build 1,000 houses in one week in June 2006

AMERICUS, Ga. (Nov. 9, 2004) – Professional homebuilders, aided by Habitat for Humanity International and media company Hanley Wood, will work side by side with partner families for one week in June 2006 to build 1,000 decent, affordable homes across the United States during Home Builders Blitz 2006.

This five-day event — held from June 5-9, 2006 — will coincide with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Homeownership Week. The event will be the largest build of its kind in the history of the United States, says Kevin Campbell, director of the project for the international nonprofit home-building organization. Hanley Wood’sBuildermagazine will profile the project in January 2005 and monthly thereafter.

“Traditionally, Habitat builds with volunteers, and volunteers will be involved with this project as well,” says Campbell. “But partnering with professional home builders will allow affiliates to increase their capacity by continuing with regular production schedules while professional home builders organize and execute the blitz build — doing what they do best.”

Affiliates in Raleigh and Durham, N.C.; Dallas; Charleston S.C.; Wichita, Kansas; and Washington County, Pa. – have already committed to building more than 100 houses during the project. Previous Home Builders Blitz pilot projects in Raleigh and Greensboro, N.C., have built 60 homes.

Announcement of the project is being made at the BIG BUILDER ’04, show in Las Vegas, sponsored by Hanley Wood. The conference, which focuses on needs, concerns, and opportunities that face top-volume builders, specifically targets the audience that can help make the 2006 Home Builders Blitz a reality.

“Hanley Wood is happy to be a part of Habitat for Humanity’s Home Builders Blitz. Those of us involved in the housing industry are proud to not only play a role in building communities, but give back to the towns in which we live,” says Frank Anton, president of Hanley Wood.

“We greatly appreciate Hanley Wood lending its endorsement and support to the project,” said Chris Clarke, senior vice president of communications for Habitat. “Hanley Wood carries great influence with builders across the country and the support with that audience lends credibility to our efforts with professional builders who might otherwise be hesitant to get involved with a volunteer-driven organization.”

The idea for the nationwide project dates to 2002, when custom home builder Tom Gipson and Habitat for Humanity of Wake County partnered to recruit 12 professional home builders to each build one house in a five-day period, donating as much of the materials as possible to keep costs down for the affiliate. In 2003, Gipson and the affiliate partnered again, building 24 homes, and that same year the Greensboro Habitat affiliate partnered with builders there to provide simple, decent homes for 12 families after a five-day build.

The 2006 build, says Gipson, who will help home builders and their associations prepare for the event and serve as a liaison with HFHI, will allow professional homebuilders to take part in the largest single contribution to affordable housing in U.S. history, and at the same time, receive local, regional and national publicity for their efforts.

The timeline for the project is:
– Sept. 1, 2004–June 30, 2005: Registration open to local home builders and their associations as well as Habitat for Humanity affiliates
– July 1, 2005–May 31, 2006: Builders/affiliates meet monthly to plan the event
– July 1, 2005: Build sites are secured and the scope of local projects is defined
– February–May 2006: Build sites are prepared by affiliates
– June 5–June 9, 2006: 1,000 houses built in partnership with 1,000 families in need

For information, visit http://www.habitat.org/buildersblitz/ on the web, contact Campbell at Homebuildersblitz@hfhi.org or call him at 229-924-6935, ext. 4332.

About Hanley Wood
Hanley Wood, LLC, is the premier media company serving housing and construction. Through five operating divisions, the company produces award-winning magazines and Web sites, marquee trade shows and events, rich data, and custom marketing solutions. The company also is North America’s leading publisher of home plans. Founded in 1976, Hanley Wood is a $200 million company owned by VS&A Communications Partners III, LP, the private-equity affiliate of media industry merchant bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

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