July 26, 2004
SYDNEY, 26th July 2004: Habitat for Humanity Australia has won one of the prestigious 2004 Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships. Habitat won the state award for New South Wales in the medium-business category.
The award recognizes Habitat for Humanity Australia's commitment to assisting families in need to achieve their dream of home ownership through Habitat's partnership with PMI Mortgage Insurance, a leading Australian mortgage insurer (www.pmigroup.com.au  ).The Prime Minister's Awards recognize successful partnerships between business and community organizations and the contributions these initiatives make to benefit the broader Australian community. The national awards will be announced in Brisbane, Queensland, in August.
Habitat for Humanity Australia's Chief Executive Officer Michael Pailthorpe said: “The award pays tribute to PMI's long-term commitment to the partnership program.”
“With the ongoing support that PMI has given Habitat, we have enabled more low-income Australian families to realise their dreams. We are extremely appreciative to have such a unique partner who not only understands but gives so wholeheartedly to our vision.”
PMI's managing director, Ian Graham, said his company's partnership with Habitat was integral for the organisation with PMI people volunteering their time for the building of each Habitat home through to the stage of completion. PMI commenced as a partner with Habitat in 2000 and is currently scheduled to start construction on a fourth joint house in August.
“Not only does this have a positive impact on the team's morale, but it also helps extend the partnership benefits through teamwork and the opportunity to work closely with the community,” said Graham.
He added, “PMI's active participation with Habitat for Humanity, we believe has generated positive and long-term outcomes at the community level by helping low-income Australian families get into their own home. It is the alignment of this relationship with is vital to supporting PMI's core values which focus on making home ownership attainable for all Australians.”
HFH Australia completed its first house in the early 1990s and has affiliates in four states. The greatest obstacle to facing low-income families in Australia is the high cost of land, making purchase impractical for homeowners. Australian affiliates overcome this obstacle through securing land donations. To date, some 50 low-income families have been helped with Habitat homes.
Many teams of Australian volunteers travel overseas each year to build Habitat homes in and around the Asia-Pacific region. Around 15 teams are expected to travel to countries such as Fiji, Samoa, East Timor and India in the next 12 months.
HFH Australia has secured funding to build 450 houses in East Timor and 300 houses in Cambodia in the next three years. There are also plans to assist building in the Philippines in the near future.
Through its subsidiaries, PMI is one of the largest private mortgage insurers in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union, as well as the largest mortgage guaranty reinsurer in Hong Kong.