Addressing housing needs in Haiti after major earthquake

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Habitat for Humanity International is assessing the impact on affordable housing and response options in Haiti after a major earthquake struck near Port-au-Prince on Tuesday

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Jan. 13, 2010) Habitat for Humanity International will respond to a 7.0 earthquake near Port-au-Prince and is currently assessing the impact on affordable housing.

"Habitat for Humanity will mobilize all available resources to address shelter solutions for low-income families affected by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday," said Torre Nelson, area vice president of Habitat's Latin America Caribbean office. "We are closely monitoring the situation and have been in contact with Habitat for Humanity Haiti. We will begin Habitat's recovery efforts as soon as possible."

"Habitat for Humanity is sending an assessment team into the impacted area," said Kip Scheidler, senior director of Global Disaster Response at Habitat for Humanity. "Once we know the full magnitude of this disaster, we'll begin Habitat's recovery process."

Habitat has been at work in Haiti for 26 years and will use its local expertise and mobilize resources as part of the rebuilding efforts. Habitat has provided more than 2,000 families with housing solutions through a variety of initiatives, including new home construction, progressive building, home repairs and improvements. It also builds capacity in construction skills, disaster mitigation and financial literacy and works in coordination with community and government agencies.

Early media reports estimate that 3 million people were affected. Haiti's ambassador to the U.S. has called the quake a "catastrophe of major proportions."

Habitat's ability to respond effectively to this disaster will require support from donors, volunteers, corporate partners and other community organizations. Donations can be made at https://www.habitat.org/cd/giving/donate.aspx?link"7.

About Habitat for Humanity's Disaster Response

Habitat's Disaster Response focuses on the housing needs that arise from natural disasters and humanitarian emergency conflicts. Habitat offers expertise in technical information; program design and implementation; and disaster response policies, protocols and procedures. We also provide support and informational resources for disaster mitigation and preparednesshelping communities in disaster-prone areas protect themselves against future threats.

About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 350,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.75 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitat.org.