HABITAT ON THE HILL: IT BEGINS WITH US
Last month, Habitat Chicago’s Jen Parks and Lauren Youngblood traveled to Washington, D.C. for Habitat for Humanity’s annual legislative conference Habitat on the Hill. Jen and Lauren were among 350 Habitat representatives who attended the conference to advocate for budgeting, policy, and programming that support stable, affordable housing.
>> Nearly one-third of households are cost-burdened (paying more than 30% of their income) or severely cost-burdened (paying more than 50% of their income) by the amount they are spending on housing.
>> After paying for housing, 38 million US households are cost-burdened and have very little income left to afford the cost of basic necessities, such as healthcare and food.
>> 1 in 7 households spend more than half of their income on housing.
>> An individual needs to make $20.34/ hour, working 40 hours per week, to afford fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment.
>> There is a shortage of 309,287 affordable and available housing units for extremely low-income renters, with only 34 affordable units available for every 100 households.
>> SHOP is the only HUD grant program that provides funding exclusively for homeownership projects. Since 1996, SHOP has enabled low-income families to become first-time homeowners, supporting strong housing markets and a resilient economy.
>>Habitat affiliates use SHOP funds to purchase land, acquire vacant homes, and develop infrastructure, enabling first-time homebuyers the opportunity to own a Habitat home.
>> Habitat has leveraged $1.4 billion of private community investments from the $222 million in SHOP funding received.
>> HOME provides formula grants to states and localities, which can then be accessed by nonprofits like Habitat to fund a wide range of affordable housing activities, such as down payment assistance and land acquisition.
>> Used in every congressional district, HOME is exclusively targeted to support low-income households earning less than 80% of the Area Median Income.
>> Every $1 of HOME leverages more than $4 in additional investments.
>> Habitat operates one of the most extensive national service programs in the country. Annually, Habitat hosts more than 500 AmeriCorps members in communities throughout the United States to help more families achieve a decent place to live.
>> Habitat covers approximately half the cost of each AmeriCorps volunteer, delivering results at a much lower cost than direct government services.
>> Fund SHOP at $15 million in the FY20 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill, a $5 million increase from FY19.
>> Fund HOME at $1.5 billion in the FY20 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill, a $100 million increase from FY19.
>> Fund the Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS) at $1.2 billion in the FY20 Labor-HHS appropriations bill, a $100 million increase from FY19, which would provide funding for AmeriCorps programs at $483 million.
>> Support comprehensive legislative solutions that consider four main issues to address the increasing cost of housing: production and preservation, access to land, access to credit, and communities of opportunity.
>> Sign our petitions to urge your representatives to support SHOP, HOME, CNCS, and other programs essential to the longevity of Habitat’s work nationwide.
>> Contact your Alderman informing him/her that you support affordable housing in your neighborhood and ask what s/he is doing to address it.
>> Learn more about the systemic causes of housing inequity by reading The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein, the keynote speaker of this year’s Habitat on the Hill, or by following the Metropolitan Planning Council’s work on The Cost of Segregation.