San Diego Habitat for Humanity and Sempra Energy kicked off their partnership today by breaking ground at land on Elm Street in Escondido that will be the site of Habitat’s newest 11-home affordable community; one of the homes is sponsored by Sempra Energy and will be offered as an affordable homeownership opportunity for a wounded veteran and his/her family through Habitat’s “Building for the Brave”™ program.  Nearly 50 Sempra Energy executives, including Chairman and CEO Debra Reed, donated their talents all day to begin framing the home. This project and a separate community revitalization effort in June will involve hundreds of Sempra Energy employee volunteers.

From June 2 to 6, Sempra Energy employees and Habitat for Humanity community volunteers will work 24-hours a day to construct the single-family townhome in just five days, during Habitat’s Home Builders Blitz. On June 14, and June 16 to 19, an estimated 500 volunteers (100 each day for five days) will work to revitalize the Elm Street area community as a part of Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI). The work will include: building and painting fences; landscaping yards; planting trees and foliage; removing debris, and offering energy efficiency upgrades to approximately 35 qualifying homes.

Sempra Energy donated approximately $200,000 to help subsidize the home construction and community revitalization effort.

“Habitat’s programs are in place to help those who need a ‘hand up’ to overcome the challenges that they face with regard to decent, affordable housing,” said Lori Holt Pfeiler, executive director for San Diego Habitat for Humanity. “With Habitat’s ‘Building for the Brave’ and community revitalization initiatives, we are working with community partners to offer hope, transform families and make homeownership a reality for many people in need in San Diego County.”

According to Pfeiler, Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program provides families the opportunity to own a home and repay the mortgage over 25- to 30-years with zero percent interest.

“This is Sempra Energy’s first project with Habitat for Humanity and we are all very enthusiastic about the opportunity to build a home for a wounded veteran and to help revitalize the local community,” said Debra Reed, chairman and CEO for Sempra Energy. “Our company’s energy infrastructure and efficiency program expertise make us a perfect fit for such a great program.”