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Bennett pounds nails for Habitat for Humanity

WASHINGTON — Sen. Bob Bennett spent Wednesday morning not in the Senate or the House, but building a house.

He joined such people as Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle to complete walls for two homes in Capital Heights, Md., for Habitat for Humanity.

"There were no accidents — no smashed fingers or toes," Bennett said. "We actually did some fairly significant rough carpentry work — even though this was, of course, all unskilled labor."

Bennett, R-Utah, added, "You do rediscover the satisfaction of actually creating something. We live in a world where it's all talk. Even something as simple as putting a stud in place and driving six straight nails . . . is a satisfying thing."

Such help by senators helped celebrate the 25th anniversary of Habitat for Humanity, which helps low-income families use "sweat equity" to build homes and obtain no-interest mortgages from partner financial institutions.

Besides helping build the homes near Washington, Bennett said he also plans to help build one in Utah later to continue the 25th anniversary celebration.

"Later this spring we will work to build a home for a single Utah mother and her daughter. This family is already building their sweat equity in the Habitat for Humanity program and is excited for the groundbreaking," said Bennett, who is a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates have built and sold more than 100,000 homes to partner families with zero-interest mortgages. Utah has nine local Habitat for Humanity affiliates.