On Wednesday, Habitat for Humanity CEO Jonathan Reckford announced that former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, will be heading to Canada for their next project.
More information about the 2017 project will be released on Oct. 3 of this year. As of Wednesday, Reckford shared only the following message:
‘We are excited to head to Canada in 2017 with President and Mrs. Carter. Their longstanding commitment to helping families build a better future for themselves has been a blessing to us and continues to inspire people everywhere to help us fulfill our mission.’
Reckford made the announcement during the closing ceremony for the 2016 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, which took place in Memphis, Tennessee. During the week-long project, volunteers joined Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter along with country music performers Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood in building homes and improving neighborhoods. The volunteers built 19 new homes, completed 10 neighborhood beautification projects, and were involved in six projects meant to enhance accessibility and mobility for senior citizens.
The 91-year-old former president said that he and his wife were happy to work with the volunteers in Memphis, whose dedication he called “inspiring” and “motivating.” He added,
‘Decent shelter is something we all need to thrive. With the help of volunteers, we will create strong, stable homes and communities.’
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have been involved in Habitat for Humanity for more than 30 years. They started the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, which, according to Habitat for Humanity’s website, “helps raise awareness of the critical need for decent and affordable housing.” The trip to Memphis was their 33rd project.
Affordable housing has been a priority for Carter for decades, and during his time in Memphis, he made it clear that he is not impressed with the lack of progress that has been made in improving affordable housing in the U.S.
According to Fox Business, Carter said about the current housing situation,
‘It’s gone backwards. The federal government realizes now that we have a greater need for affordable housing than ever partially because there’s such a growing disparity in income.’
Carter also subtly criticized all of the 2016 presidential nominees for not making affordable housing a priority. He said that he has not heard anyone discussing this issue so far on the campaign trail, and feels that it should be seen as a much higher priority than it currently is.
Despite his criticisms, Carter has said that he supports Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee. He also conceded that the Democratic Party has, in general, focused more on the needs of lower-income people than the Republican Party.
Carter amazed people around the world when he returned to his work with Habitat for Humanity after battling cancer in his liver and brain. Carter said that, after his fight with cancer, he doesn’t have as much strength as he used to, but he can still do all the jobs he has done for the last 30 years.
The video below, courtesy of Associated Press via YouTube, covers Carter’s return to Habitat for Humanity after being declared cancer-free.