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New Habitats: Rebuilding Lives By Rebuilding Homes

November 6, 2013

Over the course of a nearly 20-year relationship, Bloomberg and Habitat for Humanity have helped put a lot of roofs over the heads of thousands of deserving families in every corner of the globe. In the last five years alone, more than 1,000 Bloomberg employees have participated in more than 150 Habitat builds.

NEW DIGS: In the last five years, more than 1,000 Bloomberg employees have participated in more than 150 Habitat for Humanity building projects. Here, employees help on a San Francisco project.

As with all Habitat projects, families contribute toward the cost of rebuilding. Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, describes it as “building with families, not for families.” Bloomberg employees, along with the families themselves, provide sweat equity. It is a formula for success that generates long-lasting benefits that address the unique needs of the communities involved.

So far in 2013, 557 employees have participated in 62 Habitat for Humanity projects, including 72 homes and centers, across 20 cities globally.

In Latin America, 31 Bloomberg employees have contributed more than 300 hours of service across eight projects in Sao Paulo and in Morelos, a community close to Mexico City.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: In the Heliopolis community in Sao Paulo, Bloomberg has sponsored 16 home improvement projects.

“More than half of Sao Paulo households cannot afford anything beyond self-constructed housing,” says Maristela Campaner, who is responsible for Best of Bloomberg (BOB) volunteer programs in Latin America. In the Heliopolis community in Sao Paulo, Bloomberg has sponsored 16 home improvement projects. Two Habitat homes in Morelos have also been completed.

Raymond Wan oversees BOB projects throughout Southeast Asia, where employees have participated in 26 builds including the Solar Home Recovery Project in cities affected by Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

“We joined the Solar Home Project last October,” says Wan. “Employees are directly involved in the installation of panels, and our New Energy Finance team has provided technical expertise. Affected families save on energy costs and make some money selling excess electricity back to the utility,” says Wan.

Julisa Marmolejos of the New York Employee Engagement team notes that this last year was especially rewarding, as Bloomberg focused on sponsoring and participating in “green” builds that both align with sustainability efforts and help families save costs. To that end, Bloomberg is sponsoring 28 green single-family home builds in San Francisco. “I had the opportunity to visit the San Francisco development,” says Marmolejos. “These homes will have solar panels and tankless water heaters. The progress they have made has been amazing.”

Marmolejos continues: “The ability to provide quality housing and improve community centers for those in need is an uplifting experience felt by our employees worldwide.”

Rober W. Pladek, Esq. has practiced law and managed small businesses. He works as both a writer and editor for business journals and other periodicals.