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|18th Annual National NeighborWorks Week June 2-9, 2001|
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 1, 2001-- Washington Mutual & the Central Area Development Association team up for June 2 volunteer day, block party
National NeighborWorks(R) Week, an annual campaign to restore homes and revitalize neighborhoods, takes place this year June 2-9, 2001, with activities in more than 300 communities across the nation, including the Central Area of Seattle. As the first ever national sponsor of National NeighborWorks Week, Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) will contribute financial, in-kind and volunteer support, allowing for the most widespread housing and community revitalization campaign in the event's 18-year history.
National NeighborWorks Week was founded in 1984 by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation and its NeighborWorks network of community development organizations, all dedicated to revitalizing America's urban, suburban and rural communities.
"Washington Mutual's commitment to Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation is the company's largest ever financial and volunteer effort in support of a single housing organization," said Kerry Killinger, Washington Mutual Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "NeighborWorks Week complements our ongoing efforts to ensure safe, clean and respectable affordable housing for all individuals and families in our communities."
Washington Mutual's commitment to the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation is valued at more than $2.6 million. In addition to sponsoring National NeighborWorks Week, Washington Mutual is the first corporation to endow a scholarship program for Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation's Training Institute, the premier training program for community development and affordable housing practitioners.
Record Level Participation for National NeighborWorks Week 2001
A record 10,000 volunteers nationwide, composed of Washington Mutual employees, neighborhood residents, business people, government officials and community members, will work together side-by-side during National NeighborWorks Week to help rehabilitate homes, build playgrounds and remove graffiti, as well as landscape, paint and repair properties.
Additionally, of the 220 organizations affiliated with the NeighborWorks network, 82% (181 out of 220) will take part in this year's National NeighborWorks Week. This marks a 20% increase in participation over the 2000 event and is the highest participation level among the organizations in National NeighborWorks Week history.
"Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation is proud to have Washington Mutual as the first sponsor of National NeighborWorks Week. Washington Mutual's significant financial and employee volunteer contributions are greatly appreciated and will help NeighborWorks organizations nationwide generate the community support needed to sustain their revitalization efforts throughout the year," said Ellen Lazar, executive director of Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation.
National NeighborWorks Week activities in the Central Area of
In partnership with the Central Area Development Association, more than 350 local volunteers will paint, hammer and mow their way across the Judkins Park neighborhood (the 2400 block between Judkins St. and South Irving St). Additionally, Washington Mutual will host a "WaMu Block Party" for volunteers and community members starting at 11 a.m. Activities include quilting, local entertainers, speeches from local members of the community and of course, barbecue ribs, chicken and the fixings.
The Need for National NeighborWorks Week
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) "State of the Cities 2000" report, house prices have been rising at more than twice the rate of overall inflation and rents have risen at more than one-and-a-half times that rate. For many people, keeping up with rising housing costs means less available income for basic maintenance -- an especially dire situation for low-income households. Also according to HUD, millions of individuals now face "worse-case housing needs." These families either pay more than 50% of their income toward rent and utilities and/or live in housing with severe physical deficiencies.
The NeighborWorks network organizations nationwide offer realistic solutions to the growing housing crisis by offering homeownership and other community development activities throughout the year. National NeighborWorks Week, now in its 18th year, celebrates the annual accomplishments of the NeighborWorks network working in more than 1,700 communities across the nation. National NeighborWorks Week activities such as painting and repair of existing homes and apartment buildings are symbolic of the work that NeighborWorks organizations accomplish all year long together with residents, businesses, and government officials.
About Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, a national nonprofit, was created in 1978 by an act of Congress to revitalize America's older, distressed communities by establishing and supporting a national network of local nonprofit organizations collectively known as the NeighborWorks network.
These community-based organizations are known locally by many different names, most typically Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) or Mutual Housing Association (MHA). Last year alone, the 220 member organizations generated nearly $1.3 billion in direct community reinvestment.
Washington Mutual's Commitment to Communities, Affordable Housing
Since Washington Mutual's founding in 1889 to help the people of Seattle recover from a fire that devastated the city, the company has had a rich tradition of giving back to the community. Throughout its existence, Washington Mutual has worked to build better communities through investing in affordable housing and education. Two percent of the company's pretax earnings are returned to the communities it serves in the form of grants, sponsorships, in-kind support and other assistance. Last year that amount totaled $43 million, of which over $10 million went to communities throughout Washington.
This year, Washington Mutual has committed $49.1 million to communities in the form of grants, sponsorships, in kind support and other assistance. Nearly half of the company's corporate grants are dedicated to supporting affordable housing initiatives.
Additionally, in 1999, Washington Mutual made a historic 10-year, $120 billion lending pledge to assist under-served communities across the nation. The cornerstone of this commitment is to provide more than $81.6 billion in single-family home loans. Of this total, $30 billion will target low- to middle-income borrowers.
Washington Mutual complements its financial support with hands on involvement in the community through its employee volunteer program called CAN! (Committed Active Neighbors). Employee volunteers contribute thousands of hours of community service each year. Last year, 15,000 Washington Mutual employees volunteered more than 175,000 hours in their local communities helping with more than 2,000 projects.
About Washington Mutual
Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM) is a national financial services company that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized businesses. At March 31, 2001, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $219.93 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,300 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's news releases are available at www.wamu.com.
Information on National NeighborWorks Week 2001, including summaries of planned local activities around the country, will be available at the Neighborhood Reinvestment site at www.nw.org.