WASHINGTON (Feb. 24, 2010) – More than 240 Habitat for Humanity supporters and advocates from across the country will converge upon the nation’s capital for the fourth annual Habitat for Humanity advocacy and legislative conference titled, “Habitat on the Hill: Building Communities. Building Louder” on February 24–26.
Participants will gather to learn about building sustainable homes that meet nationally-recognized green standards, federal programs that help support affordable housing, state and local advocacy, public and private partnerships and other topics that support Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. NRI is a program to mobilize Habitat and its affiliated organizations to deliver an unprecedented level of support and partnership with communities seeking to enhance their long-term sustainability.
“The five legislators scheduled to address the capacity crowd, will allow Habitat to engage Congress more effectively than ever before,” said Christopher Ptomey, director of congressional relations for Habitat for Humanity. “This level of engagement will create a better understanding of and stronger support for Habitat's Build Louder advocacy campaign and the critical federal programs that have assisted Habitat affiliates in serving more families than ever before.”
On Capitol Hill, advocates will be asking legislators for additional Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Programs and national service resources in an effort to take Neighborhood Revitalization to scale. They also will ask that Congress set aside funding to support transitional and permanent shelter solutions in Haiti.
Over the course of the three-day conference, participants will hear from Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., 11th District; Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.; Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Paul Van De Water, senior fellow with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; and Nicola Goren, special advisor to the head of the Corporation for National and Community Service, among others.
After the conference ends, participants will visit the White House.
During Habitat on the Hill 2009, almost 190 advocates reached 475 congressional offices and successfully lobbied for a significant increase in Section 4 funding—increasing Habitat’s capacity to engage in neighborhood revitalization activities. Distinguished speakers included U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Ron Sims; Rep. John Lewis of Georgia; Sen. Merkley; and HFHI board members Ken Klein and Henry Cisneros.
The lead sponsor for Habitat on the Hill 2010 is The Home Depot Foundation. Other event sponsors include Valspar, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Whirlpool, Schneider Electric, Citi Foundation, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, Reno & Cavanaugh and PG&E Corp.
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