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Habitat for Humanity and NAHB are joined by HUD for nationwide build kickoff in Charlotte

Largest building blitz in Habitat’s history joins 1,000 professional builders to help house more than 1,000 people nationwide during National Homeownership Month

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 2, 2006) – Habitat for Humanity representatives and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will join U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson, professional builders and new partner families for the kickoff of Home Builders Blitz week on June 5, at 2 p.m. The press conference will take place at 937 Justice Ave. (Druid Hills neighborhood) in Charlotte.

“Increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, is a top priority for President Bush,” Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson said. “Through Blitz Builds and other stellar efforts, Habitat for Humanity is helping thousands of hardworking families build a better future for themselves and their children. These families and HUD could not have a better partner in building the American Dream.”

The Home Builders Blitz is the largest Habitat for Humanity project of its kind in the United States and gives many low-income families the opportunity to own their own homes. Habitat for Humanity International estimates that more than 400 homes will be completed from start to finish in 130 locations across the country. The blitz build takes place June 5-9.

“Never before have so many Habitat homes been built so quickly,” said Kevin Campbell, director of the national Home Builders Blitz program for Habitat for Humanity. “Partnering with professional homebuilders allows Habitat affiliates to increase the number of homes they build, while builders can help their community by doing what they do best.”

“NAHB is proud to participate in such a meaningful event not only through financial support of this Charlotte build effort, but also by supplying the professional builders and tradesmen needed to construct the Habitat homes throughout the country,” said NAHB President David L. Pressly Jr., a home builder from Statesville, N.C. “To reinforce our commitment to the Home Builders Blitz, NAHB volunteers will build one of the 16 homes completed at the Charlotte build site this week.”

Locally, Habitat Charlotte is building 16 homes with 16 professional home builders during the week. The blitz build will help Habitat Charlotte increase the number of homes it will build from 39 last year to 70 homes this year.

“Habitat relies on volunteers, such as those NAHB members assisting in this week’s build effort, to give their time and resources to make affordable housing possible in Charlotte,” said Bert Green, executive director of Habitat Charlotte. “Partnering with professional homebuilders in this volunteer effort is helping us to reach even more low-income families in need of housing.”

The press conference will be attended by Secretary Jackson; Pressly; Nic Retsinas, chair of HFHI’s board of directors and director of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies; Paul Leonard, former board chair of HFHI; Susan Burgess, Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem; Rev. Clifford Matthews Jr., St. Luke Friendship Missionary Church; Don Olmstead, board president of Habitat Charlotte; new Habitat partner families; professional builders; and other Habitat supporters.

About Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte
Founded on a Christian ministry, Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte works in partnership with God and people from all walks of live to develop community with people in need by building and renovating homes, so that people can live and grow into all that God intended. In 22 years, Habitat Charlotte has built more than 650 homes. Habitat Charlotte was also the first affiliate to partner with youth and completely build a home, blitz build 22 homes in a week, host a Women Build event and complete 100 homes. For more information, visit www.habitatcharlotte.org.

About National Association of Home Builders
The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 225,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. Known as “the voice of the housing industry,” NAHB is affiliated with more than 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB’s builder members will construct about 80 percent of the more than 1.93 million new housing units projected for 2006, making housing one of the largest engines of economic growth in the country. For more information, visit www.nahb.org.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 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.