White House Staff Build Habitat for Humanity House
WASHINGTON, June 29 - U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and 60 other White House staff members volunteered their time today, hammering nails and building walls at a Habitat for Humanity construction project, The Home the White House Built. The event, hosted by Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia, marked the conclusion of National Homeownership Month, while a wall-raising event at midday emphasized there is much work still to be completed in the mission to provide affordable housing.
White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said, "The White House staff is pleased to work with Habitat for Humanity and to answer the President's USA Freedom Corps call to service."
Many of the White House volunteers worked on a house sponsored by the Homeownership Alliance, an organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and expanding housing opportunities for all Americans. Bob Mitchell, chair of the Homeownership Alliance, joined Tom Jones, vice-president of Habitat for Humanity International, future Habitat homeowner families and other Habitat volunteers and supporters on the build site with the White House staff members. Additional Habitat volunteers spent time on some of the other 17 houses currently under construction.
"Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity are answering the President's USA Freedom Corps call to service," said Secretary Chao. "And we are pleased to be a part of the important work they are doing to address the need for affordable housing in America's communities."
"The Homeownership Alliance is proud to partner with the White House staff and Habitat for Humanity on The Home the White House Built, and is deeply committed to expanding homeownership opportunities for all Americans," Mitchell said. "We must find creative ways to break down barriers to homeownership for millions of minority and lower-income families, women-headed households, new Americans and other groups significantly lagging behind the average national homeownership rate."
"Families form the foundation of a healthy community, and a family cannot be healthy and whole without having a decent place in which to live," said Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International. "So it is fitting that the White House staff and other national leaders, who are working to improve communities across the country, came together to build with Habitat for Humanity during National Homeownership Month."
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 2,000 communities in 83 nations have built and sold more than 120,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.