Habitat for Humanity Introduces Cost of Home Campaign

A 5-year plan to increase home affordability for 10 million individuals

Families in Southwest Florida and throughout the United States are paying too much to cover the cost of a home.

Rent and homeownership costs are skyrocketing, while wages are not keeping pace. The reality is that far too many families are barely surviving financially and the stability that a home should bring remains out of reach.

Habitat for Humanity understands that a family should never have to spend more than 30 percent of their income on a place to live. But consider that today over 52,000 households in Lee County and nearly 19 million nationwide spend more than half their income on housing. These families are one missed paycheck or medical emergency away from homelessness. They are denied the personal and economic stability that safe, decent, affordable housing provides. Instead, families are forced to make impossible decisions. Their choices are often between nutritious food, reliable transportation, access to good schools, or going to see a doctor. Which would you choose?

These are choices that no family should have to make, and Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties is doing something about it. Over the next five years, we commit to working with fellow Habitat organizations, mobilizing our partners, our volunteers, and community members to find solutions and create policies that will increase home affordability for 10 million individuals throughout the United States.

The benefits of investing in affordable housing and making homeownership attainable for low-income, working families are significant for local communities.

Affordable housing stabilizes families. This allows parents to build financial independence and children to focus on schooling.

Affordable housing creates jobs. Habitat families save nearly 60 percent on housing costs compared to renting. This means being able to afford to fix the car, purchasing health care, or having a family night out—all of that money going right into the local economy.

Affordable housing provides opportunity. At Habitat for Humanity, we believe in the American dream and that every family deserves a chance to thrive. When quality housing is affordable, families are able to build the foundation for a strong and healthy future.

Is the goal of increasing home affordability for 10 million individuals ambitious? Absolutely. But big problems must be met with even bigger solutions. As a nation, when tasked with handling the most difficult situations, we have come together to address them head-on. Helping one another is core to our identity as Americans, and through the Cost of Home campaign, we can all play a role in solving the affordable housing challenges facing our communities.

To learn more or join the campaign, visit habitat4humanity.org/advocacy.

For full Op-ed piece visit the News-Press.

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For more local news check out these links:

WINK | June 13, 2019 | Nonprofit builds homes for six families in Lee County

Naples Daily News | June 13, 2019 | Nonprofit builds homes for six families in Lee County

News-Press | June 13, 2019 | Habitat for Humanity dedicates six new homes, promotes national campaign