Habitat for Humanity affiliates to merge

Peninsula Habitat for Humanity and Habitat for Humanity San Francisco agreed to merge after the unanimous approval of both boards of directors on May 22, according to the organization. The newly formed affiliate will be known as the Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco, and will serve San Francisco, Marin County and the Peninsula.

The merger will become effective July 1, according to the organization. The location of the new affiliate headquarters has not been finalized.

"When a Habitat house is built here, or anywhere else in the world, it becomes a life-altering event for the family, providing security, stability and a more promising future for generations to come," said Leif Langensand, chairman of the board of directors for the new affiliate. By merging the two agencies more families will have the chance to benefit from the organization, he added.

The new affiliate will cover nearly 100 miles, from East Palo Alto to Novato, according to the organization. A total of 28 cities and 38 unincorporated communities will be included in its service area.

Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco is a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a group that partners with families in need, as well as community volunteers and donors to build affordable homes. The organization's philosophy encourages self-help, and Habitat homeowners invest around 500 hours of "sweat equity" to help build their homes, as well as time for homeownership training.

Habitat homes are sold to partner families at no profit, and are financed with affordable zero interest mortgages that are structured never to exceed one-third of their monthly income, according to the organization's Web site.

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