EPA Partners with HFHI to Develop Brownfields
FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 13 - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christie Whitman visited a Habitat for Humanity build site in Fairfax County, Va., today to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Habitat for Humanity International that focuses on the future development of brownfields.
"EPA is proud to be joining Habitat for Humanity as partners in the effort to make the dream of homeownership come true for families across the country," said Whitman. "By turning brownfields into affordable new homes, our children will be healthier, our communities will be safer, and our families will be stronger."
The MOU establishes a general working agreement between the EPA and Habitat for Humanity International on coordinating policies to enact assessment and cleanup of brownfields, to promote community revitalization with residential energy efficiency, and to provide affordable housing for low-income people by outlining in broad terms how the EPA, HFHI and state and local officials can work together and train staff on potential program implementation.
Administrator Whitman was joined at the MOU signing by Tom Jones, HFHI's Managing Director of the Washington Office, as well as the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia and members of the affiliate's board of directors.
"Habitat can't thank the EPA enough for partnering with us to help further the goal of building more houses for those in need," said Jones. "One of the greatest obstacles for Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the United States is the acquisition of land for house building. Partnering with the EPA and working together in the development of brownfields will be a huge support to Habitat and will ultimately allow more people to achieve the dream of homeownership."
The signing ceremony was held at the Stevenson Street site, which will eventually house 18 low-income families. Nine houses are under construction and scheduled for completion in May of 2002, with the second nine houses scheduled to begin construction in June of 2002.
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 100,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.