April 10, 2015 public statement

Vice President Biden advocates increasing affordable housing across U.S. at event co-sponsored by Habitat for Humanity

WASHINGTON (April 10, 2015) – On Tuesday, April 7, Habitat for Humanity International co-sponsored the Housing Affordability Opportunity: Lowering Costs and Expanding Supply discussion at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development along with Enterprise Community Partners and HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research.

Between two panels addressing the challenges facing the housing market in the United States and around the world and the potential solutions, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden shared the important role that a stable home has played for him throughout his life and the administration’s plans to expand access to affordable housing for all Americans.

“At Habitat for Humanity, we see every day that, in the words of Vice President Joe Biden, homeownership remains the cornerstone of the American dream. We applaud the administration for recognizing that homeownership is key to healthy families, stable communities and a strong economy,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “With housing markets across the country still struggling to recover and fewer first-time homeowners able to enter the market, federal programs that reach new homeowners have never been more important. We ask Congress to ensure robust funding for smart and efficient investments like, the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program and the USDA 502 Direct Loan program, which leverage private investment.”

Habitat for Humanity’s U.S. affiliates leverage up to $10 of private investment in their communities for every dollar of federal grant funding. As of 2013, HUD has awarded Habitat almost $200 million in SHOP funds, which Habitat has used to raise nearly $1.5 billion of private investment, all of which supports local communities. Those funds have completed 16,565 Habitat for Humanity homes with more than 1,300 additional homes in progress.

View the video of this event.