July 12, 2019 | Samantha McLean
Access to affordable housing is a complex and escalating issue, both nationally and right here in Charlotte. In response, Habitat Charlotte, hundreds of Habitat affiliates and our parent organization Habitat for Humanity International, are embarking on a multi-year campaign to raise awareness of the issues surrounding affordable housing, and their effects on our communities. Our goal is ambitious: to increase housing affordability for 10 million people in the US by influencing government policy and systems.
Today, 1 in 6 families in our country pay half or more of their income on their rent or mortgage, often choosing between paying for housing or food, medical care or reliable transportation. These cost-burdened housing impacts are real, significant, and debilitating for people personally affected. However, the ripple effect of insufficient affordable housing also challenges the broader population as well. Left unaddressed, lack of affordable housing stunts a community’s economic potential and reduces revenues, while also increasing funds for subsidies to assist vulnerable citizens, and thereby expanding public budgets.
Having a decent, affordable place to live acts as a foundation that leads to familial and generational prosperity. Can you envision a community where everyone can afford to pay their bills and maximize their potential? We do.
So how will we get there? In order to succeed, we must all rally to clearly identify the core problems, and find creative, bold, and sustainable solutions. We can achieve this by tempering best practices with innovative new ideas and engaging various stakeholders to create momentum and progress towards our five-year goal of impacting 10 million people through affordable housing. Areas where we will focus include:
- Expanding resources for affordable home production
- Increasing inclusive access to credit
- Enabling equitable access to land
- Developing communities of opportunity
How can you make a difference? Join us in the conversation! Use the links below to debate and discuss concepts with other like-minded citizens via our 1 Beer Later talks, join our Facebook advocacy group or stay in the know through Habitat Charlotte’s advocacy newsletter.
Habitat Charlotte stands ready to help our community leaders but we need your help. It takes a village to overcome these issues, and we are excited to work with fellow villagers to ensure that all can afford the cost of home.