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     Habitat for Humanity International is a non-profit, nondenominational Christian housing organization. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 125,000 houses in more than 80 countries, including some 45,000 houses across the United States.

The 21st Century Challenge

Habitat for humanity International challenges communities to eliminate substandard housing in their area, and to set a date to meet the challenge no more than 20 years away. All over the U.S., communities are accepting the challenge to build with a definite plan and at a rate at which it is possible to end substandard housing. Where the need for adequate housing is especially daunting, the 20-year goal may be for a significant, quantifiable reduction in substandard housing.

How the 21st Century Challenge works

Local affiliates and Habitat's 21st century challenge staff work together to define the local housing problem, to organize a properly constituted local initiative, and to set a realistic date for solving the problem. It also involves the community in the effort and develops a work plan and budget, all to accomplish the goal.

Habitat for humanity can not eliminate substandard housing by itself. A successful effort will involve partnerships with other housing providers and interest groups. Creating a local initiative is the key to these partnerships.

The vision is not to build for a few lucky families. We are not "lottery for Humanity. We are building for everybody", said Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity. "The goal of Habitat for Humanity is that everyone should have at least a simple, decent place to live. We need to develop these initiative partnerships to address the whole problem so that we do not become a lottery."