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MA Marks World Habitat Day Monday

October 4, 2010

BOSTON - The United Nations designates the first Monday of October as World Habitat Day, and this year's message for today is "Better Cities, Better Life." As the world becomes increasingly more urbanized, housing advocates say a focus on neighborhood revitalization is more important now than ever.

Lark Palermo is the president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity - Greater Boston, and she says the organization's model of offering a hand up rather than a handout builds responsible home ownership.

"We believe in helping families help themselves, so they can move into homes that they own, and therefore they have an incentive to improve their neighborhoods and their lives and contribute to society."

Palermo says neighborhood revitalization doesn't happen overnight, and when dealing with the complex issues of inner-city neighborhoods, Habitat is just one of many community partners involved.

"That requires us to work in concert with a variety of other non-profit organizations, community development corporations, in order to improve the neighborhoods with our home ownership opportunities."

On Friday, Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston celebrated three weeks of framing work with the help of Delta Airlines employees. The project is located in the heart of Dorchester, and once completed will be a condominium development with five buildings. Delta Airlines also made a significant financial contribution.

To find out more about World Habitat Day in Massachusetts, go to www.habitat.org

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - MA