Cost of Home

When the cost of home is your family’s future, the cost is too high. When the cost of home is any family’s future, that’s something none of us can afford.

Today, one in six families pay half or more of their income on their rent or mortgage, often choosing between paying for housing or nutritious food, reliable transportation or healthcare needs. That is unacceptable. Your home shouldn’t cost you anywhere near half your paycheck. Home shouldn’t cost you your health or your children’s education.

Together, we can make the cost of home something we all can afford.

Habitat is deeply committed to addressing the housing affordability crisis in the United States and around the world. We know we can’t meet the need through building alone. We won’t reach our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live without addressing the underlying policies and systems that hinder access to housing.

Nearly 39 million households can’t afford their housing, according to the annual State of the Nation’s Housing Report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. One-third of households in 2015 were cost-burdened, meaning they spend 30 percent or more of their incomes to cover housing costs. Of that group, nearly 19 million are paying more than 50 percent of their income to cover their housing needs.

The issue of severe cost-burdenship is borne most heavily by renters, and when renters are paying more than 30 percent—or even 50 percent—of their income on housing, it means they are unlikely to be able to save funds to finance a home purchase. By addressing home affordability for renters as well as homeowners, Habitat is enabling more families to seek homeownership opportunities in the future.

Living in unsafe or unsanitary homes is related to greater emotional and behavioral problems among children and adolescents, and poor housing quality is also related to poorer school performance for older children. Cost-burdened households with children are less likely to save for retirement and more likely to live in substandard housing. Greater tax generation, creation of jobs, opportunities for economic development, increased job retention and productivity and the ability to address inequality are economic benefits of increased access to quality housing.

Stable, affordable housing may increase children’s opportunities for educational success. Affordable housing can support children’s education by reducing the frequency of disruptive moves and supporting holistic community development, including new or improved schools, tutoring and strong out-of-school-time programs. Affordable housing can improve health outcomes by freeing up family resources for nutritious food and health care expenditures.

The Cost of Home campaign is built on four pillars or policy areas which will enable greater access to home affordability:

  • Increasing supply and preservation of affordable homes: Almost every area in the U.S. faces a shortage of safe, decent and affordable homes, particularly ones available to those earning modest incomes. The campaign will support advocacy for policies that enable the production and preservation of and access to homes affordable to lower-income households.
  • Optimizing land use for affordable housing: Land is often among the greatest costs encountered in developing homes, whether for rental or for ownership. The Cost of Home campaign will support advocacy for land acquisition, use, and development related policies that bring down the cost to build, and otherwise stimulate the production and preservation of affordable housing, promote fair housing, and fully reflect community needs.
  • Equitably increasing access to credit: Credit is difficult, if not impossible, for many households to access, and minority and lower income applicants often do not have access to credit at all or have access to only predatory credit. The campaign will support advocacy for policies that increase and broaden access to safe and sound credit for underserved populations.
  • Ensuring access to and development of communities of opportunity: At Habitat, we know that home isn’t just a building; it includes the community and resources in which you live, work and grow. Affordable homes must be built in environmentally sound areas with access to economic and social opportunity, and viable transportation. Moreover, as communities experience increasingly new development and investment, they need systems in place to preserve affordability and prevent the displacement of current residents, many of whom are lower income. Independent of location, homes must be well-constructed and mitigated against disasters to control the health, maintenance, sustainability and energy costs of the home. The campaign will support advocacy for policies that protect and strengthen neighborhoods and enable communities to thrive.

If you are interested in helping us address the problems in the #CostofHome please contact us at info@stephensoncountyhabitat.org  or call us at (815)801-3078

For more information on Affordability of Housing over time click the image
For more information on the 2018 State of Affordable Housing in Illinois over time click the image
For more information on the Implications of living in unaffordable housing click the image
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If you are interested in helping us address the problems in the #CostofHome please contact us at info@stephensoncountyhabitat.org  or call us at (815)801-3078

For more information on what Habitat for Humanity International is doing for #CostofHome visit Habitat.org/CostofHome