COST OF HOME: HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR AFFORDABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP
Local and federal policies in the U.S. have great potential to provide more Americans with decent and affordable housing. Advocating for sustainable and inclusive affordable homeownership policies is critically important to fulfilling our vision - a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Here at Habitat Chicago, we want to provide the tools and resources, so you, too, can be an advocate and help push for policies and programs that eliminate barriers to affordable homeownership.
The long-term benefits of healthy and affordable housing are immense. Owning a home with an affordable mortgage has been linked to:
>> Improved mental and physical health of individuals and their children¹.
>> Increased engagement with local communities.
>> Predictable and controlled monthly expenses for families.
>> The cultivation of generational wealth and equity².
Homeownership has a tremendous impact on individuals and families; however, too many people are locked out of owning homes due to unaffordable costs:³
>> In 2020, almost 14% of households in Illinois alone spent half or over half of their income on housing.⁴
>> Currently, in urban and rural communities across the U.S., more than 37 million households struggle with the burden of housing costs.⁵
>> Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost one-third of households in the U.S. struggled with the cost of home due to increasing housing costs and income inequality often disproportionately concentrated among women and marginalized communities.⁶
What You Can Do
To counter these barriers, Habitat for Humanity launched the Cost of Home national advocacy plan. This national campaign is designed to urge policymakers to remove barriers to homeownership, prioritize policies that foster communities of opportunity, and make affordable housing more accessible for lower-income households.⁷ Here’s how you can get involved from your own home:
>> Educate yourself on federal policies that support affordable housing and homeownership. You can read Habitat for Humanity’s 2021-2022 Federal Policy Agenda to learn about specific federal policies, such as the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (S.98) and Restoring Communities Left Behind Act (H.R. 816).
>> Utilize this email template to contact your representatives and urge them to support affordable housing and homeownership initiatives.
>> Create a customizable social media graphic to share on your social media platforms and spread the word about the importance of affordable homeownership. Include #CostofHome in your post!
Your voice matters. Take action today!
6. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/12/08/the-black-white-wealth-gap-left-black-households-more-vulnerable/; https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/more-women-have-become-homeowners-and-heads-household-could-pandemic-undo-progress