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Mortgage Bankers fund Habitat response office

Mortgage Bankers fund Habitat for Humanity hurricane response office

AMERICUS, Ga. (Oct. 4, 2005) – The Mortgage Bankers Association is contributing $500,000 to Habitat for Humanity International to underwrite a program management office for the organization’s Hurricane Katrina rebuilding effort.

The gift will enable Habitat for Humanity to employ additional experienced and talented individuals from the construction industry and to lay the groundwork for a five-year recovery program focused on the impacted families wherever they choose to live, said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer.

The 12-person office will also direct Habitat’s “containerization” rebuilding initiative, a plan where materials for homes are collected, and then the home is pre-built in panels and shipped to an affected community along the Gulf Coast or in New Orleans to be rebuilt.

“The plan right now is to begin with the ‘containerization’ program and evolve into traditional on-site, Habitat-style volunteer-driven construction,” said Reckford. “The ‘panelized’ concept is intended to be short term response, but we are committed to a long-term rebuilding program to help low-income families who live in communities along the Gulf Coast who have no access to traditional home mortgages.”

The MBA, the national association representing the real estate finance industry, is a longtime supporter of Habitat’s work. Each year, the association sponsors the construction of a home in the host city of its annual convention. In recent years, the MBA 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 nearly 60 Habitat houses throughout the United States and Canada, representing almost $3 million in financial contribution by the organization.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity’s “Operation Home Delivery,” people can visit Habitat’s Web site,, where they can also sign up to receive more information or to volunteer – providing information about skills and experience – when conditions allow for volunteers to help rebuild. People can also donate to Habitat’s work in the Katrina- and Rita-impacted areas on the Web site or by calling 1-800-422-4828.

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.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than one million people. For more information, visit