Habitat: Proposed federal budget will worsen housing affordability across the country

ATLANTA (March 11, 2019) — The White House’s fiscal year 2020 budget request, released today, proposes to eliminate funding for programs that support affordable housing, a move that would worsen the affordable housing shortage facing communities across the United States and the world. 

“We all know housing is critical. Increasingly, families across the U.S. are being forced to make impossible choices like whether to pay rent or buy food. No one should have to live like that,” said Chris Vincent, vice president of government relations and advocacy for Habitat for Humanity International. “We look forward to working with both parties in Congress to ensure these programs are funded appropriately to address the nation’s home affordability challenges.”

The budget proposed by the White House reduces or eliminates funding that states, cities and organizations like Habitat use to build and improve affordable housing across the country. The Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), Section 4 program and Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) are all slated for elimination.

The White House budget also calls for drastic cuts in international funding that Habitat and other nongovernment organizations use to help improve the shelter conditions of poverty-stricken people around the world. This includes significant cuts to global humanitarian and development assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Habitat’s work has proven that even small investments in housing overseas have a major impact.

The full budget proposal is also expected to eliminate AmeriCorps, a 25-year-old public service program that helps local and national organizations and agencies meet critical needs in the community. More than 10,000 AmeriCorps members have served their communities through Habitat, helping to build new affordable homes and rebuild those in disaster-stricken areas. Shuttering the Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the program, would be a significant loss for Habitat and other organizations that rely on this substantial volunteer workforce.

About Habitat for Humanity

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.