The White House today released its full fiscal year 2018 budget request, which proposes to eliminate funding for programs that further Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to address the affordable housing crisis in the Ozarks and across the United States.
Statement from Larry Peterson, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Springfield, MO:
As a representative of Habitat for Humanity, I am writing to urge Missouri Representatives to protect federal programs that support Habitat’s ability to create affordable homeownership opportunities for low-income families nationwide. Decent, affordable housing provides the stability and opportunity that individuals and families need to improve their health and education, enhance their financial growth and security, and strengthen their neighborhoods. In Springfield where the poverty rate is 25%, the need for affordable housing is even greater and, unfortunately, access continues to shrink.
I urge Missouri Representatives to support adequate funding of the following programs that are integral to Habitat’s work in the fiscal year 18 budget: $15 million for the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), $1 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME), $35 million for the Section 4 Capacity Building Program,$3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and $1.1 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the agency that oversees all national service programs.
Habitat Springfield has been blessed to receive assistance from SHOP, CDBG and AmeriCorp resources in the past. Eliminating or reducing funding for these programs would exacerbate the growing local housing shortages in Springfield and increase the burden of housing costs on families in need of housing stability.
These programs are a worthwhile value to the taxpayer because of their proven track record to provide homeownership opportunities to first-time homebuyers. They also offer the means to effectively revitalize neighborhoods, provide much needed capacity to nonprofits to meet community needs and have had success in leveraging millions of dollars of private investment. These programs exemplify effective public-private partnerships that are able to meet and support the critical housing needs of local communities in cost-effective, responsible, and proven ways.
I urge the Missouri Representatives to support adequate funding for these programs in the fiscal year 2018 budget.
Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Springfield, MO