Increasing the supply and preservation of affordable homes

map of the U.S. with blue dots

Check out our interactive map to see areas where local and state Habitat organizations have successfully changed housing policies to increase the supply and preservation of affordable homes.

To address home affordability challenges faced by low-income renters and homeowners, Cost of Home used various strategies.

Strategies to successfully increase the supply and preservation of affordable homes:

  • Creating new dedicated funding for local and state housing trust funds.
  • Increasing general fund appropriations for housing.
  • Adopting multiyear, general-obligation housing bonds.
  • Establishing and expanding state housing tax credits.
  • Creating new resources to support homes for those with the lowest incomes.
  • Expanding the availability of housing vouchers to make more existing homes affordable.

As low-income families and essential workers continue to be squeezed out of the rental and homeownership housing market, federal programs to increase the supply of affordable homes do help but have not kept pace with local needs. 

That’s why the Cost of Home campaign places increasing the supply and preservation of affordable homes among its key areas of focus. 

To supplement static or declining federal housing resources, local and state Habitat organizations are engaging in advocacy initiatives to persuade their governments to raise new housing resources of their own.  

Challenges for homeownership

 “While we need federal funding, which we clearly do, the truth of the matter is that leadership has to come at the local level.” 

Henry Cisneros, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Challenges for renters 

  • The number of low-income renters outnumber the supply of affordable units – a gap that has been widening for decades. 
  • The U.S. needs an additional 7.3 million rentals that people with extremely low-income can afford, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.  These renters face shortage in every state and major metropolitan area.
  • Renter cost burdens have reached record levels, leaving many to choose between paying rent or paying for necessities such as food and medicine. 

“On the rental side, there isn’t a single metropolitan area in America today where a family earning minimum wage can afford the fair market rent on a two-bedroom apartment.”

Henry Cisneros, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Our impact

With still one more year of the campaign to go, check out our solutions in action:

Join us

Add your voice as Habitat advocates for policies that will increase the production, preservation and accessibility of homes that are affordable for the families who need them most.

  • Aerial view of houses in a neighborhood

    Discover the ongoing impact the Cost of Home campaign on improving home affordability: explore policy successes supported by local and state Habitat organizations, strategies for advocacy practitioners to effect policy change and a policy assessment report by the Urban Institute.

  • Woman with sticker that says, "I enrolled!"

    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.