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Habitat for Humanity supports the U.S. Senate move to secure U.S. foreign assistance for housing and urban development

Senate introduces the Sustainable Urban Development Act of 2010

WASHINGTON (April 27, 2010) – Habitat for Humanity International supports the passage of a new bill in the U.S. Senate that would support housing and urban development around the world.

On Tuesday, the Senate introduced the Sustainable Urban Development Act of 2010. The legislation is designed to meet the challenges of urbanization in developing countries while expanding existing U.S. Agency for International Development efforts to create better strategies for sustainable urban development. This will further the United States’ role in helping address affordable housing issues.

Habitat for Humanity International—in cooperation with a number of other key groups—was a driving force behind the creation of the legislation. It was introduced by Sens. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts), Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois.).

“I would like to express my profound appreciation to Sens. Kerry, Durbin and Cardin for introducing the Sustainable Urban Development Act of 2010. This important and timely legislation will act as a crucial vehicle for supporting sustainable solutions to expand access to basic shelter and affordable housing,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International. “Additionally, the bill’s focus on security of tenure, access to basic services, and other essential programs will ensure a more holistic and effective approach to U.S. development assistance. I look forward to working with each of you and your colleagues in Congress to build support for and achieve swift passage of this critical legislation.”

If passed, the Sustainable Urban Development Act of 2010 would provide a framework for efficient and effective programming of U.S. foreign assistance. USAID would target the challenges of urbanization in the developing world, where cities face record growth from enlarging slums, increasing levels of pollution, overwhelmed transport systems and the lack of affordable housing.

“We all recognize that the 21st century is the century of the city. There is an explosion of urban growth around the globe. Already the majority of the world’s population lives in urban areas, with approximately one billion people residing in slums,” said Senator Kerry. “The phenomenon of urbanization will be ignored at our own peril. Responsible citizens of the world must consciously harness their creativity and ingenuity to increase livability, economic viability and environmental sustainability of our cities.”

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, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 350,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.75 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitat.org.