August 16 2007 | Latest NewsOur hope is to create a long-term housing partnership that will assist hotel industry employees affected by housing shortages. This partnership will allow us to continue our commitment to the business recovery and growth of New Orleans and provide "hands on" assistance to our colleagues who have been severely impacted by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.The partnership will have two components, volunteer building and financial solicitation. It is estimated that constructing a Habitat home will take 10,000 volunteer hours and a financial commitment of $75,000. Completed houses in the GNOHLA-NOHH Partnership will be sold to qualified hospitality team members through Habitat's homeownership program.Our industry goal is the construction of 10 houses. The Hilton, Marriott and Starwood Hotel companies have agreed to step up as the first hotel association members to formally support this important GNOHLA community project. Specifically, the New Orleans Hilton Riverside is committing 4800 volunteer hours in the next twelve months.To fund this initiative, a procedure will be developed whereby hotel guests and other partnership supporters may make donations dedicated to building and construction costs. Donations for building and construction costs on behalf of GNOHLA will be made on the NOHH website and tracked and credited to the GNOHLA-NOHH Partnership. The donation solicitation component of the partnership will be marketed and communicated through written materials and signage in hotel lobbies.It is my hope that our membership will pledge the volunteer hours to be performed by employees of member hotels and commit to participation in the hotel lobby promotion supporting the online financial donations to the GNOHLA-NOHH Partnership. A bulleted three point explanation of the partnership is included in the conclusion of this email.Please respond with your level of commitment by email to Natasha@gnohla.com. We hope to hear from you within the week as we would like to kick this important partnership off on or near the Katrina anniversary date.Thank you for your consideration and prompt attention to this new, exciting and important community project.Sincerely,Fred SawyersPresident, GNOHLAGreater New Orleans Hotel Lodging AssociationNew Orleans Habitat for HumanityPartnershipVolunteer BuildingHotel membership will pledge a specified number of hours to help build houses over the next twelve months - our hope is 8 hours per employee. This pledge will be on a volunteer basis only. Depending on hotel and hotel team member commitments volunteer hours will vary. The traditionally slower occupancy months may be targeted more aggressively. Our volunteer building timeframe would be seasonal and coordinated through NOHH.Financial SolicitationDonations would be solicited from guests and other partnership supporters. The donations will be dedicated to building and construction costs. Donations for building and construction costs on behalf of GNOHLA will be made on the NOHH website and tracked and credited to the GNOHLA-NOHH Partnership. The donation solicitation component of the partnership will be marketed and communicated through written materials and signage in hotel lobbies.Hotel Industry Employee Housing OpportunitiesNew Orleans Habitat for Humanity will conduct seminars at hotels for the Greater New Orleans Hotel Lodging Association members in need of housing. These will be open to all hotel membership team members. Topics will include an overview of the New Orleans Habitat for Humanity housing program, assistance with filling out first stage applications, information on credit and debt remediation, alternate low-income housing or assistance programs, and a question and answer session about homeownership opportunities.