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At Habitat for Humanity, we know that a family should never have to spend more than 30% of their income on a home. But consider that even before the coronavirus pandemic, more than 18 million U.S. households were paying half or more of their income on a place to live. Now, as the significant economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to unfold, the number of families struggling to make ends meet is only growing.

That is unacceptable.

That means that even more families are denied the personal and economic stability that safe, decent and affordable housing provides. Instead, more and more families are forced to make impossible choices.

Safe homes. Nutritious food on the table. Health care. Access to good schools. Reliable transportation.

Which would you choose?

Your home shouldn’t cost you anywhere near half your paycheck.

Home shouldn’t cost you your family’s health. Home shouldn’t cost you your kids’ education.

When the cost of home is your family’s future, the cost is too high. When the cost of home is any family’s future, that’s something none of us can afford.

We know the complexities that surround the cost of home. We also know the struggle, stress and pain of far too many families in our communities. Families who have suffered from redlining, racial inequality and the housing disparities that follow. Families who have worked hard and still come up short, not because of their own efforts but because of systemic issues and an inequitable economy. And we know that those with the fewest resources are always the ones who are forced to make the hardest choices.

Join Habitat in making housing affordability a priority in this year’s elections. Through Cost of Home, we are calling on candidates at all levels of government to develop housing plans and educating voters that their vote matters to further our goal of improving home affordability for families across the U.S.

Take action!

Your vote this November can help to ensure housing stability and affordability needs exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic are addressed. Join Habitat in making housing affordability a priority in this year’s elections by signing a pledge to vote and sharing graphics on social media to encourage others to join you.

Pledge to vote.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has only emphasized the need for affordable housing in Oakland County. Habitat Oakland will need to be there for the families we serve more than ever. We are doing everything we can to continue building homes, communities and hope, but we need your support.

Monetarily support Habitat Oakland.

The Solutions

The factors related to creating more affordable homes — supply, credit, land and communities — are interconnected, and policies that address challenges related to affordability can, and often do, impact multiple elements.

The Cost of Home campaign is built on four areas of policy focus detailed in the Cost of Home policy platform. Achieving policy solutions in these four areas will enable families to have greater access to homes they can afford — and to all the opportunities that follow.

The Cost of Home campaign is increasing home affordability by influencing policies focused on:

Increasing supply and preservation of affordable homes

We support policies that increase the production, preservation and accessibility of homes that are affordable for lower-income households.‌ 

Optimizing land use for affordable homes

We support policies related to land acquisition, use and development that bring down the cost of building, promote fair housing, and fully reflect community needs.

Equitably increasing access to credit

We support policies that increase and broaden access to safe and sound credit for underserved populations.

Ensuring access to and development of communities of opportunity

We support policies that protect and strengthen neighborhoods and enable communities to thrive.

We strive to create a healthy housing market and affordable opportunities in every community in the United States.

We urge policymakers from the local, state and federal levels to support comprehensive packages that address the increasing cost of housing across the rental and homeownership spectrum to meet the needs of low-income individuals and families nationwide. In the Cost of Home federal policy agenda, you can learn about 10 high-impact federal policy solutions that Habitat will collectively advocate for to significantly improve access to safe and affordable homes over the next five years.

Excerpts and information from Habitat for Humanity International