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Third annual Habitat on the Hill advocacy and legislative conference highlights rebuilding neighborhoods and revitalizing communities

Advocates focus on importance of stabilizing neighborhoods

WASHINGTON (June 1, 2009) – Habitat for Humanity will kick off its third annual advocacy and legislative conference, Habitat on the Hill: Build Louder, June 1–3. More than 160 Habitat supporters and advocates representing 36 states will join Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International, and visit members of Congress and their staffs to discuss key issues, including funding for programs critical to revitalizing neighborhoods like the Serve America Act.

“By approaching neighborhoods holistically and expanding rehabilitation, green building, repair and weatherization programs, Habitat can help neighborhoods become stronger, more resilient and more sustainable than ever before,” said Reckford. “With the financial support of federal programs, Habitat brings the proven ability to fix homes, to partner with qualified families and to mobilize volunteers to turn neighborhoods around and help stabilize housing markets.”

Habitat’s neighborhood revitalization initiative aims to help affiliated Habitat organizations serve more families in need and deliver an increased level of support to communities through rehabilitating and weatherizing existing homes.

Distinguished speakers including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Ron Sims; Representative John Lewis of Georgia; Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon; and HFHI board members Ken Klein and Henry Cisneros will emphasize the power of advocacy, draw attention to the importance of national service and highlight the multiple ways affiliated Habitat organizations and supporters can unlock government resources to serve more families through new construction, rehabilitation and repair.

The Home Depot Foundation is sponsoring the conference and a legislative reception to be held on Capitol Hill following the meetings. Other Habitat on the Hill sponsors include The Dow Chemical Company, Valspar, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Whirlpool, Schneider Electric and Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll.

The 2009 conference theme, “Habitat on the Hill: Build Louder”, is based on Habitat for Humanity’s recently-launched multi-year advocacy campaign focusing on changing U.S. policies on the issues of neighborhood revitalization and secure tenure to improve access to adequate and affordable housing around the world.

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 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 www.habitat.org.