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Five years after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 2,200 new homes, helped with home repairs and clean up

Work continues to build additional affordable housing along the U.S. Gulf Coast

ATLANTA (Aug. 9, 2010) — Five years after one of the most destructive disasters in United States’ history, Habitat for Humanity marks the completion of 2,219 homes built in the region recovering from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Additionally, 994 homes were repaired through Habitat’s partnerships, and Habitat volunteers helped clean and remove debris from more than 2,500 houses in preparation for rehabilitation.

 

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Construction supervisor Mark Scott is silhouetted by the rising sun as he cuts plywood. The home is just one in “Make A Difference Today,” a build to aid those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

“In the aftermath of any disaster, real and lasting recovery begins when families feel safe and secure once again,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International. “Our goal is to get them back into a home they can afford. Whether in the aftermath of a hurricane, tsunami or earthquake, the need for shelter is essential for long-term recovery.”

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall in August and September 2005, respectively, and damaged houses along hundreds of square miles of the coast, displacing more than half a million families. Habitat for Humanity responded by working through 21 Gulf Coast Habitat affiliates to build, rehabilitate and repair houses and organize volunteers for debris removal.

Habitat also worked in partnership with other organizations to help low-income families in the Gulf Coast region. Habitat established partnerships with Rebuilding Together and Church World Service that helped fund the repair of a combined 994 homes. In 2007, Habitat and Church World Service were honored with the Award for Excellence in Long-Term Recovery Partnership by the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. Habitat also worked with The Salvation Army to increase building capacity and make homes along the Gulf Coast more affordable.

“Habitat has already served thousands of families along the Gulf Coast, but our work continues,” said Reckford. “Habitat affiliates, donors, churches, civic groups and other supporters continue building decent housing to help create better communities in the region.”

For additional information about Habitat for Humanity’s Gulf Coast work, please read the five-year report at: www.habitat.org/disaster/gulfrecovery2010.

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.