Cost of Home

Cost of Home is a five-year advocacy campaign through which local Habitat organizations, partners, volunteers and community members across the country are working together so that 10 million people have access to an affordable home.

Cost of Home has already helped more than 1.5 million people access decent housing through our advocacy to influence policies at the local, state and federal level. But we haven’t reached our goal  yet. That’s why we need you to join us

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.

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.

Everyone deserves to build the foundation for a stable, healthy future for themselves and their families — no matter who they are, where they live or how much money they earn.

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.

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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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The 2020 State of the Nation's Housing report

This report, released by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and proudly sponsored by Habitat for Humanity, through the Cost of Home campaign, describes key trends in homeownership and rental markets, highlighting how the COVID-19 pandemic and national dialogue around the need for racial justice impact the nation’s preexisting housing challenges.

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Act now for housing

Join in the call to Congress to support Habitat for Humanity’s post-election priorities for housing stability and investment.

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U.S. advocacy successes

Habitat quickly expanded our existing advocacy efforts to help the millions of individuals in the U.S. now struggling with housing insecurity as a result of the economic impacts of COVID-19. Use this tracker to stay up to date on innovative ways that Habitat’s network is advocating across the nation through our Cost of Home campaign.

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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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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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