WASHINGTON - A single mom and her three kids are part of a grassroots movement to turn downtown Greenwood, South Carolina into a more sustainable community with help from Habitat for Humanity and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI). Six months after today's groundbreaking ceremony, the new family will be moving into a brand new home on a site occupied for 11 years by an abandoned building.

"This part of Greenwood is an up and coming neighborhood and our new family is being welcomed with open arms. They are part of a bigger story which is our efforts to revitalize neighborhoods by providing safe, decent and affordable housing," said Chad Charles, Habitat for Humanity's Affiliate Director in the Greenwood area.

Building sustainable neighborhoods one house at a time is supported by SFI®. The Greenwood Area Habitat for Humanity received a $5,000 grant from SFI Inc. to help build a home using products certified to the SFI Standard and to help raise awareness about sustainable forestry.

The family, which includes two teenage boys and a middle- girl, will be moving into a three-bedroom, two-story 1,080-square-foot home. To qualify as homeowners, the family is giving 500 hours of sweat equity to help build the house. The new homeowner is also committed to acting as a local volunteer to help make her new community more sustainable.

"SFI is proud to help this family by partnering with Habitat for Humanity. In places like Greenwood, we are working at the intersection of viable markets, healthy forests and sustainable communities. A big part of our vision is to engage communities and encourage the responsible sourcing of wood products," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.

Since 2008, SFI Inc. and SFI Implementation Committees have partnered up with over a dozen various Habitat for Humanity builds across Canada and the United States. These partnerships represent more than 4,000 volunteer hours and large amounts of donated building materials certified to the SFI Standard.

SFI is also working with the National Association of Home Builders and Built Green Canada to support green building certification of Habitat homes. Habitat for Humanity supports environmentally responsible construction of durable, healthy and sustainable homes. As part of Habitat's efforts to enhance the environmental footprint of each home, Habitat and SFI have signed a memorandum of understanding to encourage Habitat affiliates, in places like Greenwood, to use wood products from organizations certified to the SFI Standard.

For the newest family in downtown Greenwood, sustainability is about to begin at home.

About Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI)

SFI Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program. Across the United States and Canada, about 250 million acres certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard. In addition, the SFI program's unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. SFI chain-of-custody certification tracks the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and post-consumer recycled content. SFI on-product labels identify both certified sourcing and chain-of-custody claims to help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at www.sfiprogram.org and www.sfiprogram.org/Buy-SFI.

About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International's vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer visit www.habitat.org.

Source: Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.


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