Nearly 19 million households across the United States spend at least half of their income on a place to live, often forgoing basic necessities such as food and health care to make ends meet. In Missouri, one out of 10 households spend more than 50% of their income on housing. In Springfield, more than 10,000 renter households are considered “extremely low income” making less than, or equal to 30% of the area median income (AMI) as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). There is a deficit of more than 8,000 affordable housing units available for extremely low income individuals in Springfield.
Today, Habitat for Humanity of Springfield, MO (HFHS) joined Habitat organizations across the country to launch Cost of Home, a new national advocacy campaign aimed at improving home affordability for 10 million people in the United States over the next five years.
Marking significant growth in Habitat’s commitment to ensuring that everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home, the Cost of Home campaign seeks to identify and improve policies and systems through coordinated advocacy efforts at the local, state and federal levels.
Cost of Home focuses on improving housing affordability across the housing continuum in four specific policy areas: increasing supply and preservation of affordable homes, equitably increasing access to credit, optimizing land use for affordable homes, and ensuring access to and development of communities of opportunity.
HFHS, along with other area housing organizations, have taken several steps toward these goals. Aside from annual visits to Washington, DC for ‘Habitat on the Hill’, HFHS has invested in Neighborhood Revitalization in Woodland Heights, endorsed the creation of recent landlord registration regulation, supported increased federal funding for SHOP, HOME, USDA and AmeriCorps housing initiatives and increased local home repair efforts through a $750,000 FHLB grant.
“The stability that housing brings continues to remain out of reach or may people,” said Larry Peterson, Executive Director of HFHS. “Since our founding in 1988 HFHS has partnered with donors and volunteers to build or renovate more than 630 homes, providing hope for nearly 1,300 deserving men, women and children in Greene County.”
More details about Habitat’s Cost of Home policy platform and campaign activation are available at habitat.org/costofhome.
*Data provided by the National Low Income Housing Coalition “GAP Analysis”