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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announces $13 million grant for Habitat for Humanity International

Major funding announcement made at Habitat for Humanity Seattle/South King County’s High Point neighborhood

SEATTLE (Dec. 17, 2008)—Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced more than $26 million in Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity (SHOP) grants to three nonprofit housing organizations. Habitat for Humanity International will receive more than $13 million to help build affordable housing across the country. Local community leaders and HUD officials visited a Habitat site in West Seattle where the funding announcement was made.

“Even during these hard times, sustainable and responsible homeownership can be within reach for many families,” said HUD Secretary Steve Preston. “With HUD’s support and the sweat equity provided by these homebuyers and volunteers, we can help make this American Dream come true.”

HUD’s SHOP program encourages the development of housing using the sweat equity model and community-building efforts upon which the Habitat model is based, by helping with land acquisition and infrastructure development.

“We are honored that HUD chose to announce their ongoing support of self-help housing at our award-winning High Point neighborhood,” said Marty Kooistra, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity of Seattle/South King County. “Real impact comes from deliberate relationship-building and focused partnerships with the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Our relationship with HUD models the vision of ‘everyone involved’ in doing their part to make affordable housing a reality for those who may be struggling.”

Habitat for Humanity has helped low-income families achieve homeownership across the United States. Habitat’s method of building simple, decent houses in partnership with its homeowners has helped reduce costs and provide families with a greater personal investment and commitment to successful homeownership.

“Habitat is proud of its long history of working with HUD to make affordable homes possible,” said Liz Blake, senior vice president of advocacy, government affairs and general counsel for Habitat for Humanity International. “This valued partnership has resulted in more than $78 million on Habitat infrastructure improvements since SHOP began in 1996. And to date, SHOP funding has lead to 12,228 completed Habitat homes for almost 46,000 people.”

Habitat for Humanity will receive $13,250,000 to facilitate and encourage innovative homeownership opportunities through the provision of self-help housing. SHOP funds will be used to purchase land and make necessary infrastructure improvements, primarily in support of new construction. Completed housing units will be transferred to homebuyers who contribute a significant amount of sweat equity toward the construction of the unit—in addition to other volunteer labor. At least 762 Habitat homes will be made possible through this funding.

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 1976, Habitat has built more than 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people. For more information, visit

Habitat for Humanity of Seattle/South King County has provided 136 homes in partnership with diverse low-income, working families. A community-based, low-income housing developer, Habitat builds houses inexpensively, using primarily volunteer labor, and sells them at cost (at no profit and with no interest) to working families in Seattle and south King County.