Habitat applauds the housing assistance that has been provided by Congress as well as local and state governments to individuals and families affected by the pandemic, but more action is needed to improve long-term stability and affordability. Policymakers at all levels of government must continue their efforts to meet the long-term housing needs of families across the U.S. and invest in housing as the foundation to economic and societal recovery.
Habitat is committed to bridging divides. We have a strong record working with both sides of the aisle to achieve meaningful legislation that protects and provides housing stability. We’re asking all elected officials to prioritize housing in the days ahead and into the future. We have one goal and one voice. Habitat implores local, state and federal officials to act now for housing.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 17 million U.S. households were already spending half or more of their income on housing. The pandemic has exacerbated a pre-existing housing affordability crisis being fueled by a shortage of habitable, affordable homes, including a record-low supply of entry-level homes for sale. At the same time, many long-disinvested communities are being weighed down by deteriorating housing stock and abandoned properties that hold back economic recovery. These include:
- Formerly redlined communities of color.
- Towns devastated by loss of industry.
- Pockets of distress in otherwise prosperous areas.
- Rural communities with high rates of poverty and older housing stock.
At a time when a safe and decent home has never been more important, millions of American families need action to make the cost of home something we all can afford.
As elected leaders set their 2021 agendas, members of Congress, the executive branch, governors, state legislators, mayors, and city and county councils must prioritize investments in housing as infrastructure and a vital part of economic recovery.
Habitat’s priorities for housing investment:
- Support policies and programs that increase the supply of affordable homes, spark the revitalization of left-behind neighborhoods and help low-income families and communities of color rebuild and prosper.
- Prioritize policies that ensure that access to safe, healthy and affordable housing is equitable by rectifying legacies of systemic housing discrimination, closing racial gaps in homeownership and ensuring communities of opportunity for all.
Habitat is committed to continuing its housing advocacy through working with elected officials at all levels of government to find and implement policy solutions that will enable access to affordable homes for 10 million people in the U.S. over the course of the five-year Cost of Home campaign.