Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the United States and internationally are joining GMAC Financial Services in an effort to create homeownership opportunities in partnership with families in need through the construction of 19 new homes in 2007.
GMAC Financial Services, based in Detroit, and its real estate finance subsidiary GMAC ResCap in Minneapolis, will provide funding and more that1,000 volunteers to help build 16 Habitat homes in the United States, as well as additional homes in Canada, Mexico, and Australia. The Habitat construction projects began in March and will continue throughout 2007.
"We salute the important work of Habitat for Humanity in creating safe, decent and affordable housing," said GMAC President Bill Muir. "GMAC employees are active on behalf of Habitat because we believe in supporting the communities where we live and work, and we know that homeowners play a vital role in building safe, strong and healthy communities." GMAC supports efforts that strengthen and give back to communities, particularly those focused on housing, financial literacy, human services, education, youth and the arts.
"We are grateful to GMAC for supporting the mission of Habitat for Humanity and for joining us as, together, we create more affordable housing opportunities with low-income families," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. "GMAC's partnership will result in more families acquiring a simple, decent home they can afford -- and becoming part of the solution to their own housing needs."
Full-house sponsorships have been awarded to Habitat affiliates in Charlotte, N.C.; Denver; Duquesne, Pa.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Sacramento, Calif.; and Salt Lake City, as well as Mexico City. Additional funding and GMAC volunteer support will be available from GMAC ResCap to Habitat affiliates in Bethesda, Md.; Burbank and Universal City, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Orange County, Calif.; Dallas; Detroit; Philadelphia; Camden, N.J.; Waterloo, Iowa; Toronto; and Sydney, Australia.
For more than 10 years, the financial and volunteer support offered by GMAC has helped Habitat build and rehabilitate hundreds of homes. Additionally, GMAC supports financial literacy and homeownership through several activities including foreclosure prevention programs via GMAC ResCap's HOPE for Homeowners initiative, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation and financial literacy via SmartEdge by GMAC, a program designed to educate consumers in the areas of credit, budgeting and choices available when financing a home or vehicle.
Some highlights of the builds that GMAC and Habitat for Humanity will complete together this year include:
- Minneapolis: Both GMAC Financial Services and GMAC ResCap are sponsoring a 8 to 10-week Habitat build, which features the construction of one complete house and four "A Brush with Kindness" projects within the immediate neighborhood. "A Brush with Kindness" is a Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity neighborhood outreach program in which volunteers paint, landscape and provide minor repairs to the exterior of homes for low-income residents at no cost to the homeowner.
- Philadelphia: GMAC ResCap will partner with Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia to construct Philadelphia's first low-income LEED- certified green homes, to be sold through zero-interest mortgages to families in need. LEED for Homes is a voluntary rating system that promotes the design and construction of high performance "green" homes, which use less energy, water and natural resources and create less waste. The benefits of a LEED home include lower energy and water bills; reduced greenhouse gas emission; and less exposure to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins.