Media Advisory: Introducing Habitat for Humanity Portland Region

In this critical time for stable housing, two Habitat for Humanity organizations are uniting as one—Habitat for Humanity Portland Region—to greatly expand theiimpact 
WHAT:    Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East and Willamette West Habitat for Humanity will be announcing in January that they are merging their two organizations and will be known as Habitat for Humanity Portland Region. CEO Steve Messinetti and Jim Woodruff, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, will be on location at the Denney Gardens build site to announce the merger, plans for expansion, and upcoming home construction plans. Harun Olol, a Habitat Homebuyer, will join them on site sharing his excitement for the home he and his family will be purchasing. 
WHEN:      Monday, January 4, 20212:30-3pm.   
WHERE:    Denney Gardens, 9845 SW Denny Road, Beaverton, OR  
VISUAL:    Completed Habitat homes and homes under construction in Beaverton. Habitat Homeowner, Harun, near his home under construction. 
INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:  with Steve Messinetti, CEO;  Jim Woodruff, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors; and Harun Olol, a Habitat Homebuyer who will be purchasing a home at Denney Gardens. 
Full Merger Statement:
It is with great excitement for the future of affordable homeownership that Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East and Willamette West Habitat for Humanity announce they have merged their two organizations and will now be known as Habitat for Humanity Portland Region. This decision to merge comes after over a year-long process between their boards and staff, working together to identify how they can strengthen their collective impact and partner with even more people throughout our community to realize the dream of homeownership.   
Habitat Portland Region staff are humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to serve three thriving, diverse, and unique counties—Multnomah, East Washington, and North Clackamas—and are so thankful for the support of all who join them on this journey.  
The three counties are intrinsically linked through community and workforce connections, transportation planning, and, unfortunately, by a worsening housing crisis that continues to push people farther from finding safe and affordable places to call home. In a year marred by the COVID-19 pandemic, the two Habitat organizations are uniting to expand our reach and impact in delivering quality, affordable homeownership and home repair solutions to the greater Portland region.  
This year, 2021, is the 40th anniversary of Habitat for Humanity working in the Portland region. Habitat Portland/Metro East and Willamette West Habitat have long, successful track records. Since its founding in 1981, Habitat Portland/Metro East has partnered with more than 1,700 people, and Willamette West Habitat nearly 700 people, to purchase affordable homes and receive critical home repairs.  
 “As each organization has grown, it has become increasingly clear that we can have a greater impact in our region as a single organization that fully integrates our programs and staff,” states CEO Steve Messinetti.   
Board Vice Chair, Jim Woodruff, from Willamette West Habitat added, “We view this as an opportunity for us to leverage each other’s combined strengths and resources, ramp up home production on the West side and in the greater Portland region, while increasing home repairs. It is critical that we help more people realize the stabilizing impact that homeownership uniquely provides.”  
Habitat for Humanity is the only non-profit developer in our region providing homeownership opportunities to families earning as little as $30,000 a year.   
 “This merger marks a commitment to the many people in our region that are feeling the heavy weight of the economic crisis and the many burdens that come with unstable housing and financial insecurity,” said Messinetti. “Habitat is committed to an equitable and just future. Where people with low-incomes and communities of color will have access to buying a first home, to building equity, to living and thriving in this beautiful region.”  
In this first year together, Habitat for Humanity Portland Region will have more than 100 homes under construction. The Board of Directors is eager to begin a strategic planning process that will set the vision to take this homebuilding movement to scale for our region. “I believe this stronger organization, coupled with the support of our generous and caring community, will reach more families than we ever imagined possible,” Messinetti said. “And we are ready to get to work.” 
“We will look to other housing professionals, to elected officials, and most importantly, to residents across the three counties to help inform that vision,” Messinetti said. “To effectively operate as one nonprofit organization in this larger region, we will need to take a fresh view of how we can best position ourselves to bring this effective Habitat model to scale across the region.”    
About Habitat for Humanity Portland Region 
At Habitat for Humanity Portland Region, we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to have a stable and healthy place to call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Founded in 1981, we are invested in creating a region where everyone has the opportunity to build a better life. Learn more at habitatportlandregion.org (The new website is still under construction.) 

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