SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 25, 2001--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.
As the first ever national sponsor of National NeighborWorks Week,
Washington Mutual 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
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
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.
In celebration of National NeighborWorks Week, Washington Mutual
will host "WaMu Block Parties" for volunteers and community members in
six cities with major revitalization projects: Seattle; Oakland,
Inglewood, CA; Houston; Chicago; and West Palm Beach, FL. Activities
will include quilting, local entertainers, speeches from local members
of the community and of course, hot dogs and hamburgers.
"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.
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
The NeighborWorks network organizations nationwide offer realistic
solutions to the growing housing crisis by offering homeownership and
other community development activities throughout each year. National
NeighborWorks Week, now in its 18th year, is a national celebration of
the 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
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
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
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.
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
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.
||Laura Jones, 206/377-2153
||Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
||Debra Daniels, 202/220-2354