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Habitat for Humanity International and the Home Depot Foundation announce 2010 “Partners in Sustainable Building” grantees

Participating Habitat for Humanity affiliates have certified nearly 1,500 sustainably built homes nationwide

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ATLANTA, Sept. 8, 2010 – Habitat for Humanity International and The Home Depot® Foundation today announced the 2010–2011 Partners in Sustainable Building program grant recipients. From Birmingham, Alabama, to San Diego, California, more than 135 Habitat affiliates across 42 states will be granted $3,000 for each home built to Energy Star standards and up to $5,000 for each home built to a higher green standard. The selected Habitat affiliates are expected to build 2,400 homes in 2010–2011. Launched in 2009, this $30 million green building initiative is a five-year program aimed at helping Habitat affiliates in the United States incorporate sustainable building practices in 5,000 green homes.

Through the sustainable building program, participating Habitat for Humanity affiliates have already certified nearly 1,500 sustainably built homes nationwide. By incorporating practices such as creating a tight building envelope and using efficient, durable materials in the construction process, many of these homes achieved green building certification with little additional cost. In many instances, the homes also benefit from landscaping projects that feature native plants, trees and other features that provide valuable shade and ground cover.

In order to certify homes under one or more of the recognized programs available, affiliates may employ strategies as diverse as

  • Water-conserving plumbing fixtures.
  • High-efficiency appliances.
  • Programmable thermostats.
  • Low- and No-VOC paints and finishes.
  • Quality insulation and ventilation systems.

Results from the first year of the program show energy savings, lower utility bills and health benefits for the homeowners. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, by following green building standards, homeowners can potentially see a savings of 30 percent or more in their utility bills. Examples of how the program is successfully impacting the families moving into the homes include the following:

  • One PSB homeowner in Rushford, Minnesota, reported that her heating bill averaged only $2.50 per day during January.
  • In Fort Bend, a Texas homeowner who recently moved from his mobile home into a PSB home reported energy savings of $500 a month.
  • After months of 100+ degree temperatures, a homeowner in Grayson County, Texas, reported that her highest electric bill was only $100.
  • In St. Louis, Missouri, a homeowner saved so much in utility bills that she was able to purchase everything her children needed for the new school year, an annual expense she could not previously afford.

“We believe that healthy homes are the building blocks for thriving, affordable and environmentally sound communities,” said Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation. “Through our partnership with Habitat for Humanity, we are focused on bringing the practical financial and health benefits of green building and maintenance to families of modest incomes. By showing that green building and efficient maintenance of a home can truly keep more money in a family’s wallet, we also hope this effort has a ripple effect on all homeowners nationwide.”

Habitat homeowners recognize the benefits of health and efficiency. Kristen Ekern, a single mother of two in Rushford, Minnesota, now lives in a Green Communities/Energy Star home built in partnership with Winona County Habitat for Humanity.

“My family and I are so excited to be living in a ‘green’ home. For us, green means that we are saving energy and living in a healthier house, and it means that more cash is staying in our pockets each month!” said Ekern. “In January, my heating bill averaged only $2.50 per day. It’s amazing!”

For Habitat, the partnership continues its commitment to quality, energy efficient housing for low-income families.

“Our collaboration with The Home Depot Foundation is providing Habitat affiliates with the resources to continue building energy-efficient homes in neighborhoods throughout the country,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer, Habitat for Humanity International. “At the end of our $30 million five-year effort, 5,000 families will have benefitted from this partnership.”

Partners in Sustainable Building is the first partnership between The Home Depot Foundation and Habitat for Humanity International at the national level in the United States. For more information about the PSB program, visit www.homedepotfoundation.org.

About The Home Depot Foundation
Created in 2002, The Home Depot Foundation supports nonprofit organizations dedicated to creating and preserving healthy, affordable homes as the cornerstone of sustainable communities. The Foundation’s goal is for all families to have the opportunity to live in healthy, efficient homes they can afford over the long-term; to have access to safe, vibrant parks and green spaces; and to receive the economic, social and environmental benefits of living in a sustainable community. Since its formation, The Home Depot Foundation has granted $190 million to nonprofit organizations and supported the development of more than 95,000 homes, planted more than 1.2 million trees and built or refurbished more than 1875 playgrounds, parks and green spaces. For more information, visit www.homedepotfoundation.org, and follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/HomeDepotFdn.

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, visit www.habitat.org.

For more information, contact

Paula Drake, 770-384-3439, paula_drake@homedepot.com
Catherine Woodling, 770-384-2304, catherine_woodling@homedepot.com
The Home Depot Foundation

Lucy McDonald
MS&L for The Home Depot Foundation
404-870-6853, lucy.mcdonald@mslworldwide.com

Nakia Fowler
Habitat for Humanity International
404-962-3445, nfowler@habitat.org