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HUD awards $10.7 million to Habitat for Humanity

Self-help homeownership opportunity program helps affiliates build homes across the country
Habitat for Humanity International has been awarded $10,773,000 to support the construction of affordable houses through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP).

COVINGTON, La. (Feb. 23, 2006) — Habitat for Humanity International has been awarded $10,773,000 to support the construction of affordable houses through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP).
The announcement, by HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, Pamela Patenaude, was made at Hope Village, a St. Tammany West Habitat for Humanity building site in Covington whose 15-home neighborhood was made possible by previous SHOP funds. St. Tammany West will apply for approximately $450,000 in 2005 SHOP funds to support the construction of 30 single-family homes.

“The SHOP program is a wonderful example of how the public, private and non-profit sectors of our country can come together to provide a decent place to live for working families,” said Paul Rogers, vice president, Habitat for Humanity International. “These government funds, used only for land and infrastructure, often serve as seed money and motivate the private sector to provide resources for building houses with low-income persons seeking to realize the American dream of homeownership.”

Each year, Habitat for Humanity International competes with other nonprofits organizations for the use of SHOP funds and, through a competitive grant process, distributes the awarded funds to Habitat affiliates across the country. From 1996 through 2004, HFHI has received more than $107 million in SHOP funds to help in the construction of approximately 11,000 Habitat houses. These funds are used for land acquisition and infrastructure development such as the installation of streets and utilities. Over the years, some 575 Habitat for Humanity affiliates have received funding through the SHOP program.

“This funding not only helps families to purchase their first home, but taps into their own sweat equity to make them feel more invested in their new neighborhood,” said Patenaude. “With a little investment and elbow grease, great things can happen, and our SHOP program is proof of that.”

“The Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program is a strong fit with Habitat for Humanity’s work and mission,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International. “The program helps families earn the dream of a simple, safe and decent place to live, not just through government help, but through their own hard work and sweat equity.

“It’s a perfect marriage between HUD and Habitat in that the grants offer families a hand up, not a hand out,” said Reckford

“Funds from SHOP have been a major contributing factor to our affiliate’s increasing construction capacity,” said Ann Borne, executive director of St. Tammany West Habitat for Humanity. “By helping to pay for the infrastructure for our Habitat neighborhoods, SHOP funds allow us to use all money raised from private donations for house building.”

This year, St. Tammany West HFH is expected to build 45 single-family homes.

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 www.habitat.org.

About the Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.