Homeownership Month in Virginia

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Habitat for Humanity already has built some 1,000 homes in the Commonwealth of Virginia. What better time to announce a "boost" that will help Habitat build its next 1,000 homes in Virginia than the first day of National Homeownership Month.

[Photo 1: Little girl is recognized with a certification as Governor Warner smiles]
Governor Warner knows that providing $250,000 in HOME funds to Habitat each year for three years will help little girls like this one to live in decent and safe homes

Saying "there still are too many low-income Virginians who don't have access to homeonwenership," Virginia Governor Mark Warner traveled to a Richmond neighborhood on June 1 to make a special announcement - that in each of the next three years, the State would provide Habitat with $250,000 in HOME funds to help more than 100 more families become homeowners.

The Governor's announcement brought a smile to the face of Marcia Cherry, the 24-year-old single mother of two. The announcement was made at the site of her new Habitat home, a home to which she has already contributed 200 hours of
[Photo 2: Governor Warner hammering away]
"There still are too many low-income Virginians who don't have access to homeownership," said Governor Warner, who then picked up a hammer to lend a hand in helping solve the problem
"sweat equity" and that has gotten lots of help from Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development employees who've taken personal leave to help her and other Habitat homes rise from the ground.

"It feels great to have all these people out here volunteering," Ms. Cherry told the assembled press corps. "It's a wonderful feeling."

Hers is one of eight Habitat homes under construction on the block that Habitat estimates will have assessed values of between $90,000 and $120,000. "Habitat is the best kind of public-private partnership," the Governor told The Richmond Times-Dispatch, because it "makes the ultimate American dream" of homeownership "a reality."

This, he added just before picking up a hammer to help Ms. Cherry and state employees work on the new homes, "is the perfect way for us to kick-off National Homeownership Month."

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