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HUD awards $8.6 million to help build Habitat for Humanity homes nationwide

PHOENIX (Oct. 6, 2006) — Habitat for Humanity International today was awarded $8.6 million to help build affordable homes nationwide through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program.”

Each year, Habitat for Humanity International and other nonprofit organizations receive funding for affordable-housing programs that require new homeowners to participate in “sweat equity” by helping to build their own home.

“We are grateful for HUD’s work in making affordable homeownership possible in partnership with families in need,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Together, we are improving communities and putting the dream of homeownership within the reach of more families in more communities across the country.”

From 1996 through 2005, HFHI received more than $118 million in SHOP funds to help in the construction of nearly 11,000 houses, of which nearly 10,000 homes are already complete. These funds are used for land acquisition and infrastructure development such as the installation of streets and utilities. Over the years, nearly 600 Habitat for Humanity affiliates have received funding through the SHOP program.

“Great things can happen when families put hammer to nail to create their own ‘American Dream,’” said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson. “It’s tremendously gratifying to know that with a little investment on HUD’s part, Habitat for Humanity can really help build the dreams of so many people.”

The announcement was made at Villas Esperanza, a Habitat for Humanity Valley of the Sun neighborhood in Phoenix funded in part by SHOP. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson and U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl joined Tom Jones, ambassador-at-large in the office of the CEO of HFHI, and Christine Odom, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Valley of the Sun, to award the funding. They also planted a tree in the neighborhood’s park that symbolizes the strong communities being created by HUD’s partnership with Habitat.

Habitat for Humanity Valley of the Sun is one of many affiliates that have participated in the SHOP program having built more than 400 homes in the greater Phoenix area with the infrastructure of 177 funded by the program.

About Habitat for Humanity Valley of the Sun
Serving metropolitan Phoenix since 1987, Habitat for Humanity Valley of the Sun is a grassroots ecumenical housing organization whose mission is to eliminate substandard housing. The mission is to build affordable housing and community partnerships that promote spiritual values and individual responsibility. The Valley of the Sun affiliate is one of the most active of the Habitat affiliates and is responsible for the building of more than 400 new homes. Currently the affiliate is active in South Phoenix, as well as Chandler, Mesa, Glendale and the Capitol Mall area.

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 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org .

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