Families in need of affordable housing live everywhere: small towns and villages, sprawling cities, your community. Housing need presents itself wherever people live and work, and it takes many forms with far-reaching effects.
Locally and around the globe, Habitat for Humanity provides a long term solution designed to break the cycle of poverty. Simple, quality constructed and affordable homes are built by the future homeowners, volunteers and Habitat staff. This experience provides a "hand up, not a hand out" approach by providing 0% interest mortgages to families that otherwise would not be able to purchase their own home.
Habitat for Humanity works in other ways to help families across the world:
- disaster prevention and recovery
- loans for incremental building and home improvements
- help with establishing title and ownership to land
- advocacy for effective laws and systems
The need for opportunity and self-reliance
Housing instability — including frequent moves, overcrowding, and the threat of eviction or foreclosure — creates stress, depression and hopelessness for far too many families.
Adults living in housing that they struggle to afford often describe themselves as less healthy, and the well-being and development of millions of children is compromised by living in insecure housing.
Families paying too high a percentage of their income for housing often find themselves making impossible choices. Rent or health care? Food or transportation?
A decent and affordable place to live helps families by freeing them from such physical and mental hardships and placing them on a path of new opportunity and increased confidence and self-reliance. A family’s partnership with Habitat means they have a stable place to live and to spend time together. An affordable mortgage or small loan means they have a chance to create savings and invest in their education. A decent roof over their heads establishes home as a place that protects — instead of endangering — their health.
Habitat works with families to help them acquire the access, skills and financial education necessary for them to be successful homeowners. By partnering with us, families seize the opportunity and possibility that decent, affordable housing represents. Through shelter, we empower.
Housing need is all around us
The MacArthur Foundation released results from a survey of U.S. adults conducted to inform the work of the Foundation’s How Housing Matters initiative. The results of the How Housing Matters survey point out why housing matters and reveals that the concerns and challenges related to affordable, quality housing are very real for many Americans. These findings show us there is more work to be done; we remain committed to a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to call home.
- Nearly one in five Americans spend more than 50% of their income on housing. Sixty-five percent of adults highlight affordability as a top issue, second only to an individual’s physical needs as they age.
- Fifty-eight percent of adults say that a family of four with an income of about $50,000 would have a hard time finding affordable quality housing. That number skyrockets to 88 percent for a family of four with an income closer to $24,000. Ohioans earning a minimum wage of $8.15 an hour would have to work 57 hours each week to afford a modest one bedroom at Fair Market Rent.
- More than half of all adults have made at least one tradeoff in the past three years to cover their rent or mortgage. Tradeoffs include taking second jobs, cutting back on health care and healthy food, and moving to less safe neighborhoods.
- In every region of the U.S. — Northeast, South, Midwest and West — anywhere from 53 to 69 percent of adults classify the purchase of affordable housing as challenging in their community.