Habitat, Home Depot expand building program

Habitat for Humanity Intl. and The Home Depot Foundation announced the national expansion of Partners in Sustainable Building.

Atlanta — Habitat for Humanity Intl. and The Home Depot Foundation announced the national expansion of Partners in Sustainable Building. The $30 million green building program will provide funds and resources over a five-year period to help Habitat affiliates build 5,000 homes that meet Energy Star guidelines or a nationally recognized green building standard. These features incorporate the use of energy-efficient equipment and water-conserving fixtures and help ensure good indoor air quality.

More than 120 Habitat affiliates across 45 states were selected to participate in the first year of the national rollout that began in August. These affiliates will be granted $3,000 for each home built to Energy Star standards and up to $5,000 for each home built to a higher green standard. Nearly 1,500 sustainable homes will be built in 2009 and 2010 alone. The grant process is annual, which gives other Habitat affiliates the opportunity to participate in the program as well.

Partners in Sustainable Building was established last year through a pilot program with 30 Habitat affiliates across a variety of climates in rural and urban areas throughout the U.S. Habitat built more than 260 sustainable homes that met a green building standard during the pilot.

“From a new energy-efficient water heater and weather stripping to programmable thermostats and a low-flow toilet and bathroom fixtures, our family is already seeing savings in our monthly utility bills,” said a Habitat homeowner from the PSB pilot. “We're so excited about our new home. To know it's one that we can afford to maintain and live in for years to come means so much for our family.”

The pilot program demonstrated that the upfront costs of building green are modest and can be recouped through savings on utility and energy costs over the course of a home's mortgage.

“By embracing the practical principles of green building, our partnership with Habitat for Humanity International is demonstrating that these techniques can actually make homes more affordable to own, maintain and live in from day one and for the long-term,“ said Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation.

To inspire and educate additional affiliate participation, eight Habitat State Support Organizations, which provide services to 440 affiliates, will also receive grant money to add staff and host training sessions for Habitat affiliates to learn how to build to nationally-recognized green standards.

“The introduction of the Partners in Sustainable Building program has created excitement about the benefits of green building within Habitat for Humanity,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Intl. “With the support of The Home Depot Foundation, we have a great opportunity to bring the economic benefits of sustainable building to our homeowners and to show our volunteers how easily and affordably they can make their own homes greener as well.”

Partners in Sustainable Building is the first partnership between The Home Depot Foundation and Habitat for Humanity at the national level in the U.S.

Additional information is available at: www.homedepotfoundation.org and www.habitat.org.

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