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U.S. Mayors Build on Habitat for Humanity House to Celebrate National Homeownership Month

Madison, Wisc. (June 14, 2002) — The nation's mayors today donned hard hats, swung hammers, pounded nails and raised the wall of a Habitat for Humanity house, sponsored by Freddie Mac, to help raise awareness about affordable housing issues and to celebrate National Homeownership Month. It is the sixth consecutive year the mayors have helped build a Habitat house as part of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meetings.

Mayors Raising Wall During Habitat for Humanity Home Build in Madison
Mayor Susan J.M. Bauman of Madison, along with the other mayors, was joined today by HUD Assistant Secretary Roy Bernardi, Governor Scott McCallum, volunteers and supporters. After a brief media event, the group worked together to raise a wall to help symbolize the importance of building not only a house, but a strong family and community as well.

"I can't imagine a better way to observe National Homeownership Month than to invite mayors from all across America to help raise the walls on a new Habitat for Humanity home in Madison. Affordable housing is at the heart of any discussion of how we create livable cities, and it is among my highest priorities for Madison," said Mayor Susan J.M. Bauman of Madison, WI. "Mayors across America have put forth a comprehensive agenda for combating the affordable housing crisis and will discuss those plans during the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting this weekend."

National Homeownership Month is an initiative with leadership from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help promote homeownership, particularly among minority and low- to middle-income families or individuals, through national and regional events.

"Families form the foundation of a healthy community, and a family cannot be healthy without having a simple, decent place in which to live," said Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International. "So it is fitting that community leaders who are working to improve communities come together to build with Habitat for Humanity during National Homeownership Month."

Freddie Mac, one of the largest buyers of home mortgages in the United States, is sponsoring the Madison house. "Freddie Mac is proud to work with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Habitat for Humanity and HUD to demonstrate how partnership can help build affordable housing and strengthen communities," said Dwight Robinson, senior vice president of Freddie Mac.

"As we celebrate National Homeownership Month, we are here in Madison to help two families realize the dream of homeownership," said HUD Assistant Secretary Roy Bernardi. "The Bush Administration and Secretary Martinez are committed to working closely with community and faith-based organizations like Habitat for Humanity to add to the growing ranks of families living the American Dream."

Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, founded in 1987, has built 60 new and rehabilitated Habitat houses. "We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate our local Habitat affiliate's 15th anniversary than to build Habitat homes with the nation's mayors," said Steve Millar, president of the board of directors for HFH of Dane County.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian housing 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.

Press contacts:
Chris Vincent
HFHI-Washington Office
202-628-9171, ext. 103
202-628-9171 fax