New initiative helps Habitat for Humanity build more resilient and stronger homes
ATLANTA (April 14, 2016) — Habitat for Humanity today introduced its new Habitat Strong program, an initiative launched in partnership with Simpson Strong-Tie and Travelers, to help local Habitat for Humanity organizations build stronger, more resilient homes across the U.S.
Habitat Strong is based on a pilot program funded by Travelers to build disaster-resilient homes using criteria established by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. The funding will be used to build Habitat for Humanity homes in 16 weather-sensitive areas in 2016.
“We are grateful for organizations like Simpson Strong-Tie and Travelers that bring their expertise to the table to help create fortified buildings in areas prone to natural disasters,” said Larry Gluth, senior vice president of U.S. and Canada for Habitat for Humanity International. “It’s because of this that we are able to work together to build strength and stability through housing.”
Habitat for Humanity homes in areas susceptible to flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, winds and wildfires can benefit from Habitat Strong building standards, which include a suite of fortified codes and best practices for building more resilient homes. Available to all Habitat for Humanity organizations across the country, the Habitat Strong program was created to be affordable, while offering long-lasting benefits to Habitat for Humanity homeowners.
“We are very proud to be a part of the new Habitat Strong program aimed at incorporating building practices that improve homes’ resiliency to natural disasters. Building a home with a continuous load path ensures it is tied together from the roof to the foundation with metal connectors, which makes the home better able to withstand earthquake forces or high winds from tornados and hurricanes,” said Simpson Strong-Tie President and CEO Karen Colonias.
Simpson Strong-Tie has supported Habitat for Humanity for over two decades and has been a national sponsor since 2007, donating more than 2.5 million in cash and products, including the structural framing hardware (connectors and fasteners) and reinforced shear walls used in new home construction. The company will also support Habitat for Humanity’s annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project in 2016.
Simpson Strong-Tie employees also extend their support to Habitat for Humanity, volunteering their time, labor and technical skills on Habitat for Humanity build sites worldwide. As part of a company goal, Simpson Strong-Tie asked their employees in 2015 to participate in more Habitat for Humanity builds. Employees who had not participated in a previous build were invited to volunteer with the nonprofit, leading to an additional 200 employees and five facilities participating in their first Habitat for Humanity build.
“Travelers has a strong focus on supporting organizations that help create and maintain safe, stable and vibrant local neighborhoods,” said Marlene Ibsen, vice president of community relations at Travelers, and CEO and president of the Travelers Foundation. “Partnering with Habitat for Humanity to help build affordable, more resilient homes is an important element that we hope will make a real difference in the lives of many families over time.”
Travelers and Habitat for Humanity have worked together for more than 20 years through local and national partnerships. In 2011, the Travelers Fortifies Habitat Homes initiative was launched to enable Habitat to develop its capacity for building more wind-resistant homes, which has now grown into the Habitat Strong program. Over the past decade, Travelers has donated more than 4.2 million to support the FORTIFIED program, home construction and volunteer engagement on a national level.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity has grown from a grassroots effort that began on a community farm in southern Georgia in 1976 to a global nonprofit housing organization in nearly 1,400 communities across the U.S. and in over 70 countries. People partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.
About Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc.
For 60 years, Simpson Strong-Tie has focused on creating structural products that help people build safer and stronger homes and buildings. Considered a leader in structural systems research, testing and innovation, Simpson Strong-Tie works closely with industry professionals to provide code-listed, field-tested products and value-engineered solutions. Its structural products are recognized for helping structures resist high winds, hurricanes and seismic forces. The company’s extensive product offering includes engineered structural connectors, fasteners, fastening systems, lateral-force resisting systems, anchors and products that repair, protect and strengthen concrete. From product development and testing to training and engineering and field support, Simpson Strong-Tie is committed to helping customers succeed. For more information, visit strongtie.com and follow us on facebook.com/strongtie, twitter.com/strongtie, YouTube and LinkedIn.