7 Banks Partner To Build Habitat Homes In Queens, Harlem
Citigroup, Credit Suisse First Boston, HSBC, PNC Bank, Wachovia and Washington Mutual have partnered to build Habitat for Humanity homes in Queens and Harlem for the Financial Services Roundtable’s “Community Build Day 2005.” The building activity kicked off on August 5 in Jamaica, with a team of employee volunteers led by senior executives from the participating financial services companies and Habitat for Humanity New York. The day began with Steve Bartlett, president and chief executive officer of the Financial Services Roundtable, presenting Roland Lewis, executive director of Habitat for Humanity New York, with a grant check for $52,500 made possible by all the financial services companies participating in the New York City builds. On August 13, designated “Community Build Day 2005,” these same companies brought together more employee volunteers to help build a Habitat home in Harlem.
“Community Build Day demonstrates to the public how the financial services industry works 365 days a year to improve the cities which they serve,” Bartlett said. “The member companies of the roundtable are competitors in the marketplace, but this day shows our cooperation in the community.”
Lewis said: “Habitat–NYC is pleased that so many prominent New York City financial institutions have crossed corporate lines to support the cause for decent and affordable housing for all New Yorkers.”
“Our partnership with Habitat is a natural one since we share with them a mission to foster homeownership,” Jennifer Armstrong, Citigroup Global Consumer Group senior director of retail banking North America, who is also a member of the Habitat for Humanity New York board of directors, said. “Habitat helps give people the tools they need to succeed—the financial education, access to financial products and services, affordable mortgages, and a helping hand through volunteerism—and we are very pleased to partner with our financial services industry colleagues to support these efforts.”
“Credit Suisse First Boston is proud to have the opportunity to participate in our first Community Build Day,” Bob O’Brien, managing director of Credit Suisse First Boston, said “Habitat for Humanity has been a great partner that enables our employees to provide both a needed resource to the community and volunteer in a very rewarding way working alongside family partners. We’re pleased to deepen our relationship with Habitat through the Community Build Day and look forward to joining our banking colleagues in future efforts.”
“HSBC is proud to join once again with our colleagues and our peers in giving back to a community that gives so much to us,” David Kotheimer, senior executive vice president of HSBC Bank USA, said. “The Community Build Day effort and our partnership with Habitat for Humanity underscore the tremendous good that results when the private and public sectors join with the not-for-profit community to bring about meaningful change.”
“It is always rewarding to see the families we help through partnerships with organizations like Habitat for Humanity,” Don Giffen, chief executive officer of PNC MultiFamily Capital, the affordable housing group at PNC, said. “Through PNC Bank’s affordable housing activities, we get to see firsthand the impact investments like these can have on a community.”
“With this event, financial services companies put competition aside and focus on something we all care about: helping families achieve the dream of home ownership,” Wachovia North Atlantic Regional President Jim Fitzgerald said. “This build is just one example of Wachovia’s commitment to strengthening New York City’s communities.”
“We are proud to join Habitat for Humanity and other members of the banking community to help to make the dream of homeownership a reality for New Yorkers,” John Benevento, senior vice president and group manager of Washington Mutual’s retail branch network in Manhattan, The Bronx, Westchester, Connecticut and Long Island, said. “Community Build Day 2005 will be a great way a host of organizations will come together and provide hands-on support for affordable housing initiatives.”
This year marks The Financial Services Roundtable’s fourth annual “Community Build Day.” As part of this day of community service, 38 roundtable member companies have committed to help build and repair homes in 22 cities across the United States in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, NeighborWorks® America, and Rebuilding Together. Serving as chairman for “Community Build Day 2005” is Frederick W. (Rick) Geissinger, chairman and chief executive officer of American General Financial Services. National Co-Sponsors are: ACE INA, AEGON USA, American General Financial Services, Citigroup, Countrywide Financial Corporation, HSBC—North America, MBNA America, Raymond James, State Farm® Wachovia, Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo.
Participation in “Community Build Day” is one part of a commitment to community involvement that FSR member companies make. In FSR’s latest Community Involvement Survey, financial services companies donated or raised nearly $1.11 billion in direct charitable contributions, and employees donated 9.2 million volunteer hours, the equivalent of more than 4,600 full-time employees.
The Financial Services Roundtable represents 100 of the largest integrated financial services companies providing banking, insurance, and investment products and services to the American consumer.
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is a Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. By the end of 2005, Habitat will have built its 200,000th house and more than one million people will be living in Habitat homes they helped build and are buying through no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.
New York Habitat for Humanity “mission is to build community by constructing homes for ownership with people with low to medium incomes. The Habitat for Humanity building method—using sweat equity, abandoned land bought for $1, and volunteers to do much of the construction—makes it possible to build low-cost homes with New Yorkers in need.