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More than 30 years ago, the United Nations took an important step in promoting the idea that everyone deserves a decent place to live by declaring the first Monday in October World Habitat Day. On October 5, Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County joins the United Nations, Habitat International and organizations around the world in raising awareness, educating, and mobilizing individuals and communities to take action on the current housing crisis, which has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Decent housing plays an important role in removing barriers to opportunity, success and health that might have been part of a family’s life for years, if not generations.

Join Habitat Oakland County this World Habitat Day by making a donation and helping us take action on the housing crisis in our community.

What is the housing crisis in Oakland County?

Affordable housing costs are defined as 30% of income or less. In Michigan, one in eight households spend more than half of their income on housing.

In Oakland County, a person needs to make $18/hour to afford rent on a two-bedroom apartment. The state minimum wage is $9.45/hour.

The housing that low to moderate individuals and families can afford is often indecent or in bad shape due to negligent landlords.

When households spend more on rent than they can afford, they often have to sacrifice health care, food and other basic necessities.

How does decent housing play a role in removing barriers to opportunity, success and health?

Decent, affordable housing helps create conditions that free families from instability, stress and fear and encourages self-reliance and confidence. Studies show that strong and stable households are foundational to child development and growth. When a home fosters health and safety, families can flourish.

Owning an affordable home also allows homeowners to lift up their entire family by saving for their futures and investing in educational opportunities — bolstering job opportunities and long-term career growth.

Surveys of Habitat homeowners and their families show better financial health, parents who are more confident about meeting their family’s needs, and even improved grades for their children.

How will my donation be put into action and make an impact in Oakland County?

Through our Homeownership Program, Habitat Oakland County offers first-time, low to moderate income home buyers a hand up to move from indecent housing to newly built or renovated, affordable homes. This program ensures the opportunity to become a homeowner – which provides stability and security and is also the most powerful tool for building wealth in the United States – is accessible to community members who may not have access via traditional means by enabling individuals and families to purchase a stable and decent home with an affordable mortgage.

Bringing together homeowners, volunteers, community sponsors and Habitat Oakland County staff, Rock the Block is part of HFHOC’s neighborhood revitalization efforts, offering minor exterior home repairs to homeowners at a modest price. This program ensures that homeowners reside in safe housing, enables seniors to age-in-place, maintains and increases home values, and fosters neighborhood stability.

Roofs, Ramps and Repairs is a critical home repair and home preservation program that provides needed exterior repairs for homeowners in Oakland County so that they may maintain a safe, decent and affordable place to live. Focusing on safety, security and accessibility, weatherization, and keeping houses up to building codes, Roofs, Ramps and Repairs is designed to provide a hand-up to low-income homeowners who are in need and unable to perform repairs independently.

Through Habitat University, Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County provides one-on-one personalized financial coaching for individuals who are looking to purchase a home or improve their overall financial health. Individuals in this program improve their credit score, reduce their debt, increase their savings, and become members of the financial mainstream.

Hear how Habitat homes have made an impact in the lives of our partner families in Oakland County by clicking here.

Our vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. This World Habitat Day, join us in helping make that a reality for our neighbors in Oakland County.

Unable to monetarily support Habitat Oakland County but want to take action? Click here for more action items.