Habitat for Humanity travels to Capitol Hill to call for housing reform


Advocates will impact housing sector to ensure the future liquidity, stability and resiliency of housing markets

WASHINGTON – February 2, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — More than 200 Habitat for Humanity leaders and supporters, including several Habitat homeowners from around the country, gathered in Washington, D.C., for Habitat’s 10th annual Habitat on the Hill conference, Feb. 2-4. The event brings together Habitat representatives to urge federal lawmakers to support programs and policies that promote safe, decent and affordable homeownership opportunities and, in turn, a healthy housing market and economy as a whole.

“This year’s theme of ‘Framing the Future’ calls us to look beyond building homes and neighborhoods to address the broader issue of housing policy, particularly in the months leading up to the presidential election,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “The campaign season provides us with a great opportunity to build more inclusive and resilient communities by returning housing to the national agenda. Together, we can frame the future of decent and affordable housing for decades to come.”

Habitat representatives and housing supporters will meet with members of Congress concerning the importance of safe and healthy homes and discuss policy priorities, including much-needed housing finance reform. Recognizing the uncertainty bred by the current housing finance system – an assortment of potential solutions since 2008, Habitat is calling on Congress to pass responsible reform that would restructure the system to ensure future liquidity, stability and resiliency of housing markets.

Habitat advocates will also address the benefits and need for continued support of programs such as the Self-help Homeownership Program, the HOME Investments Partnership Program and the Corporation for National and Community Service, whose AmeriCorps and VISTA members helped reach one-quarter of the families Habitat served last year. The conference’s Thursday session will focus on Habitat’s work to promote access to land for shelter, the topic of the organization’s new global advocacy campaign, Solid Ground.

Supporters can petition representatives to support responsible reform of the housing finance system to provide an explicit, limited federal role in ensuring broad access to affordable and sustainable mortgage credit. Proponents can add their voices through an online petition that recognizes that the current system is shutting out many people prepared to become successful homeowners. Increased opportunities for safe, decent and affordable housing builds a stronger economy for everyone.

Speakers at the conference include: U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.; National Journal Senior Political Columnist Ron Fournier; CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service Wendy Spencer; CNBC Real Estate Reporter Diana Olick; J. Ronald Terwilliger, chair of Terwilliger Pappas Multifamily Properties; Brian Miller, director of Nonprofit VOTE; Tjada McKenna, COO of Habitat for Humanity International; and Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Since 1976, Habitat has helped more than 6.8 million people gain strength, stability and independence through housing, including home construction, rehabilitation and repairs and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and programs. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and offers a variety of housing support services that enable families with limited means to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit habitat.org.

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