A safe home. Nutritious food. Healthcare. Access to good schools. Reliable transportation. Which would you choose?


One in six U.S. households are forced to make decisions like these every day because they are paying half or more of their income on a place to live. That is unacceptable, and that is why Habitat Chicago is joining hundreds of local Habitats across the country to launch a new national advocacy campaign: The Cost of Home.


Over the next five years, the Cost of Home campaign will strive to improve home affordability for 10 million people in the U.S by promoting policy and systems change on the local, state, and national levels.


While there’s no silver bullet to solving the nation’s home affordability crisis, Habitat for Humanity’s Government Relations and Advocacy team has identified four key underlying policy areas to address to enable greater access to home affordability:

1) 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 individuals earning modest incomes. The Cost of Home campaign will support advocacy for policies that enable the production, preservation, and access to homes affordable for lower-income households.


2) Optimizing land use for affordable housing. Land is often among the greatest costs encountered in developing homes, whether for renting or for ownership. The Cost of Home will support advocacy for land acquisition, use, and development-related policies that bring down the cost to build affordable homes. Lowering these costs will stimulate the production and preservation of affordable housing, promote fair housing, and reflect community needs.


3) Equitably increasing access to credit. Credit is difficult for many households to access. Unfortunately, minority and lower-income applicants often do not have access to credit at all and are disproportionately targeted by predatory lending practices. The Cost of Home will support advocacy for policies that increase and broaden access to safe and sound credit for underserved populations.


4) Ensuring access to and development of communities of opportunity. We know that a home isn’t just a building. Affordable homes must be built in environmentally sound areas with access to viable transportation as well as economic and social opportunity. Moreover, as communities experience increasingly new development and investment, they need systems in place to preserve affordability and prevent the displacement of current residents. The Cost of Home campaign will support advocacy for policies that strengthen neighborhoods and enable communities to thrive.


Habitat for Humanity is uniquely situated to bring down the cost of home nationwide by harnessing the power of our brand and the passion of our supporters in advocating for affordable homes. We’ll be doing our part here at Habitat Chicago by engaging with policymakers, sharing compelling stories to magnify and personalize local housing needs, and leveraging media connections to share our collective efforts.


The Cost of Home campaign cannot succeed without you. Take action today to make the #CostOfHome something we all can afford. 



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