Women earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by men in the U.S., but what does this statistic mean in terms of housing? With this relatively lower source of income plus other gendered factors, women have less access to credit, loans, and high-quality homes and neighborhoods compared to men.


Here are just a couple of the specific injustices keeping women from homeownership:

>> Due to factors like the gender pay gap, women tend to have higher debt-to-income ratios and lower credit profiles. Thus, single women are denied mortgages at higher rates than single men, even though women are more reliable when it comes to paying their mortgages. This is a paradox that hinders women in their efforts to provide an affordable home for themselves and their families.

>> About 80% of single-parent households are headed by women, and women are twice as likely to be the primary caretaker for an elderly parent. The double standard of being the main source of both care and income leaves women without adequate time and resources to dedicate to homeownership.


Habitat for Humanity offices worldwide take these inequalities head-on through an annual event, Women Build. Women Build raises awareness of the gendered inequity in homeownership, raises funds, and furthers the construction of houses that will be purchased by women with an affordable mortgage.


Habitat Chicago's Women Build is one of the largest in the nation and consists of a four month-long fundraising period leading up to five days of building with all-women volunteers. In 2019, our 400+ Women Builders have set out to raise $275,000 and significantly advance construction on six homes during Women Build week, taking place October 8th-12th. Throughout the week, Women Builders will be working alongside the future homeowners during the build days and will learn, on a personal level, what their impact means.


Each homeowner has their own unique story for why these new homes are important to them:

>> “I remember going from home to home growing up, and I don’t want that for my son. I want to raise my son in a home we can call our own. I want to create that stable environment for him. Not only will we feel secure, but the burden of instability will finally be lifted.” - Britany

>> “As a child, I remember spending holidays at my grandmother’s house with my whole family and feeling warm, happy, and protected. I plan to build a home that will always provide my daughter with these same feelings.” - Tabitha

>> “I am so determined to have a stable place for me and my child. I want to have somewhere that is ours, not living with someone else. We can’t wait to step foot into OUR home and have our own space.” - Uneshia


Help Britany, Tabitha, Uneshia, and four other determined women overcome the gendered roadblocks and fulfill their dreams for their families today. Visit chicagowomenbuild.org to donate or learn more about how you can participate in Women Build.



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