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Affordable Housing for the Poor

Twenty years ago my wife, Linda, and I were completing a three-year stint of house building for poor families in Zaire. Upon our return to the United States, we convened with a group of friends in a southwest Georgia Christian community who shared our concerns. The result: Habitat for Humanity International.

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Habitat for Humanity forms partnerships with needy homeowners and caring people to build and renovate affordable homes. Our approach is working: We now build more than 12,000 houses each year and have provided shelter for more than a quarter of a million people. But the problem of poverty housing is still enormous. More than a billion of the world's people still live in poor housing conditions.

The message that I and other representatives of Habitat for Humanity will promote at the second UN Conference on Human Settlements, Habitat II, in Turkey, is simple: What works for us can work for others. We minister to the poor and to the rich. We offer the rich the opportunity to share their wealth with the world's poor and to learn from them. Habitat for Humanity translates God's love into action.

Americus, Ga.

Founder and President

Habitat for Humanity

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