RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Officials from SECU Foundation and Habitat for Humanity® of North Carolina (HHNC) have signed a formal Memorandum of Agreement for a new joint initiative to expand affordable housing across North Carolina – the SECU Habitat Challenge. SECU Foundation's Challenge will provide a significant investment of $10 million over a three year period for HHNC to build one new or renovated Habitat home in each of the State's 100 counties. Under the terms of the Partnership Agreement, Habitat will develop a plan for implementation by the end of May 2015. State Employees' Credit Union (SECU) Foundation Board Chair McKinley Wooten, along with representatives from Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina, including HHNC Board Chair Bill Cooke and HHNC Board member John Twomey, were on hand for the formal signing.

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"The SECU Habitat Challenge is a magnificent opportunity for Habitat affiliates across North Carolina and will be a catalyst for increasing their support for one another, expanding our reach to unserved areas," said HHNC Board Chair Bill Cooke. "We are excited, honored and humbled to partner with State Employees' Credit Union members via their Foundation to provide homes for deserving families in all 100 counties of the State."

Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity® International whose vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. The non-profit organization is devoted to building simple, decent and affordable housing for families in need and advocating for fair housing practices to help address the issues of poor housing in low-income communities. Since Habitat initiated operations in North Carolina, more than 10,000 homes have been constructed for families.

The member-funded SECU Foundation has been promoting local and community development projects through the funding of large-scale initiatives for over a decade. Focusing on core areas including education, housing, healthcare and human services, SECU members are making a tangible impact in the economic and social welfare of citizens and communities statewide.

McKinley Wooten remarked, "SECU members are proud and excited to join Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina in their mission to create affordable homeownership opportunities for the citizens of our State. The SECU Habitat Challenge will provide a major boost to the efforts of Habitat supporters and volunteers, increasing HHNC's capacity to help additional families obtain homes in many areas of North Carolina without current Habitat services."

About SECU and the SECU Foundation

A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, SECU has been providing employees of the State of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for 77 years. The Credit Union also offers a diversified line of financial advisory services including retirement and education planning, tax preparation, insurance, trusts, estate planning and investments through its partners and affiliated entities. SECU serves nearly 2 million members through 254 branch offices, over 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Contact Centers and a website, www.ncsecu.org. The SECU Foundation, a 501c(3) charitable organization funded solely by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of housing, education, healthcare and human services.

About Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina

Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1983, Habitat affiliates in North Carolina have served more than 10,000 families. Visit www.habitatnc.org or call 704-716-7068 for more information.

G. Mark Twisdale, Executive Director
Office: 919-839-5562 | secufoundation@ncsecu.org