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This week, we’re sharing reports and articles you might find useful or motivating in your involvement with Habitat for Humanity. Learn more at these links about housing, poverty and how our work helps.

Building Families’ Futures and Opportunities Through Habitat Homeownership
This survey by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation finds the vast majority of Habitat Canada homeowners are happier and healthier since moving in: “Broad positive impacts of the new Habitat home were noted, with 86 percent of the Habitat homebuyers indicating they were happier in their new housing and 89 percent indicating that their family life had improved.”

From Blight to Light: Assessing Blight in the City of Dallas
Dallas Area Habitat commissioned this University of North Texas study to better meet its neighborhood revitalization goals. The study identifies Dallas’ blighted areas, works to show their cost to the city and examines how other cities have reclaimed their own blighted neighborhoods. “Nonprofit organizations,” the study notes, “empower community residents by providing awareness programs and education for maintaining homeownership by low-income households.”

State of the Nation’s Housing Report 2013
Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies has released its report on trends in economics and demographics in housing each year since 1988. This year’s assessment notes yet another increase in those facing housing cost burdens. “At last count in 2011, over 40 million households were at least moderately cost burdened (paying more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing), including 20.6 million households that were severely burdened (paying more than half of their incomes for housing).”

“How to Design Our Neighborhoods for Happiness”
This article from Yes! Magazine examines how the design of neighborhoods can help create community and how that benefits everyone. “A neighborly sense of the commons is missing. You don’t have to be a therapist to realize that this creates lasting psychological effects. It thwarts the connections between people that encourage us to congregate, cooperate and work for the common good.”

“The Good Work That Habitat Does for Humanity”
This opinion piece from Texas’ Marshall News Messenger offers a great, succinct summation of what Habitat is all about: “We do not know the number of families that have been given the opportunity to break out of the cycle of poverty and experience homeownership that would not have been possible otherwise. In just our small city, Habitat has raised 11 homes and will soon be working on no. 12. That represents a dozen families who have been given a chance to lift themselves up.”

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