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Habitat for Humanity joins effort to mark World Habitat Day

Habitat’s policy forum in Washington, D.C. serves as an official kick-off event

WASHINGTON (Oct. 5, 2009) – Habitat for Humanity joins the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Rockefeller Foundation to plan and host World Habitat Day activities on and around October 5.

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Habitat CEO Jonathan Reckford celebrates with featured speakers during official 2009 World Habitat Day Opening Ceremony at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

 

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Jon Bon Jovi, Member of the U.S. World Habitat Day Honorary Committee, addresses attendees during World Habitat Day official kickoff event.

“World Habitat Day is an opportunity to bring attention to the worldwide need for decent and affordable housing,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International. “During World Habitat Day events, we join the many organizations that are addressing the global crisis of poverty housing with particular emphasis on the urban challenges in the world’s rapidly-growing cities.”

Weeklong events will focus on housing issues. Habitat’s public policy forum, which took place at the National Press Club with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, was selected as the first official event to commemorate World Habitat Day.

The National Press Club event titled, “Whose American Dream: Moving toward a Balanced Housing Policy,” hosted a panel of leading experts exploring the appropriate role of housing policy in meeting the needs of low-income families and revitalizing neighborhoods.

Habitat for Humanity’s 2010 Shelter Report was discussed at the National Press Club and is now available at http://www.habitat.org/gov/. The report explores the benefits of homeownership for low-income families.

According to the Shelter Report, research studies show that homeowner benefits include better overall health and wealth accumulation, in addition to improved work productivity. The sense of stability achieved through homeownership often leads to improved performance in education among children and also can stabilize neighborhoods, providing positive benefits to entire communities.
Other World Habitat Day events include

  • UN-HABITAT’s Scroll of Honour awards and a gala dinner in Washington, D.C.
  • An academic panel event entitled “Housing After the Crash: Creating Better Options for Our Future,” hosted in partnership with Georgia Tech. The event will take place at the university’s College of Architecture at 4p.m. EDT on Oct. 5, in Atlanta.
  • New Horizons Habitat in Americus, Georgia, will join staff and visitors at Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village and Discovery Center for presentations about substandard housing.
  • Sussex County Habitat for Humanity in Delaware recognized World Habitat Day on Saturday, Oct. 3 as volunteers united to build a home.

Additional global World Habitat Day events hosted by Habitat for Humanity are listed at www.habitat.org/gov.

The United Nations designated the first Monday of October as World Habitat Day to remind the world of its collective responsibility to address substandard housing.

Additional support for World Habitat Day is provided by Woodrow Wilson Centre, Global Housing Foundation, CHF International, American Planners Association, International Housing Coalition, the Urban Institute, USAID, Cities Alliance, the World Bank, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Cooperative Housing Foundation, the National Law Centre, and the Mortgage Bankers Association, among others.

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 than1.5 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.