homeowner couple standing in front of house.

Cost of Home

Families all across the United States are paying too high a price to cover the cost of home.

Everywhere you look — cities, suburbs, rural areas — the stability that home should bring remains out of reach for far too many families.

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.

Vote to make the #CostOfHome affordable

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.

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Through our five-year Cost of Home campaign, we commit to mobilizing our local Habitat organizations, our partners, our volunteers and community members across the country to find the solutions and help create the policies that will allow 10 million individuals to meet their most basic needs.

What is housing affordability?

Families across the United States are paying too high a price to cover the cost of home. Rents and homeownership costs are skyrocketing while wages are not keeping pace. Everyone should have enough money left over after paying rent or mortgage costs to cover life’s necessities.

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Reflecting on the first year of our Cost of Home campaign

In this essay, Habitat’s vice president of global relations and advocacy reflects on the progress made in the first year of our U.S. housing affordability advocacy campaign, Cost of Home, and where we must focus our efforts in the future in the face of impacts from COVID-19, issues of systemic racism and upcoming elections. 

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The solutions | Cost of Home

Achieving policy solutions in the four areas laid out by our platform will enable families to have greater access to homes they can afford — and to all the opportunities that follow.

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Success stories: Habitat’s advocacy achievements

As the Cost of Home campaign builds on our strong record of advocacy achievements, take a look at how these communities are successfully finding solutions and helping create policies that will allow 10 million individuals to meet their most basic needs.

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