Habitat for Humanity of Broward aiming to improve home affordability

FORT LAUDERDALE – Nearly 19 million households across the United States are spending 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.

Affordability problems

According to the Broward County Affordable Housing Needs Assessment of 2018, In Broward County 58 percent of renters are cost-burdened, and 87 percent of households cannot afford the median sales price of $350,000. The average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is $$1,902 per month with more than 30 percent of renters spending more than half their income on rent and 54 percent of workers are in lower-range service sector jobs.

The stability that housing should bring continues to remain out of reach for many people.

On Wednesday, Habitat Broward joined Habitat organizations across the country to launch a new national advocacy campaign aimed at improving home affordability for 10 million people in the U.S. over the next five years.

Cost of Home campaign

Marking significant growth in Habitat’s commitment to ensuring that everyone has a safe and decent 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.

Habitat Broward already has taken several steps toward these goals. Habitat Broward addresses the critical need for housing by bringing every community sector together to build and renovate 20 to 25 homes per year alongside people in need of decent, affordable housing. To date, Habitat Broward and its community partners have empowered over 400 hardworking families to build strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership.

“At Habitat Broward, we know that a family should never have to spend more than 30 percent of their income on a home. But consider that today nearly 19 million U.S. households pay half or more of their income on a place to live, this is unacceptable, that is why we have joined forces with other Habitats nationwide to do something about this,” said Marcia Barry-Smith, Director of Community Outreach and Advocacy for Habitat Broward as she addressed the Broward County Commissioners on Tuesday, June 11 to share some startling facts regarding affordable housing and homelessness.  

About Habitat for Humanity of Broward

Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Broward brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Habitat Broward offers a “hand up” not a “hand out” to low to very low-income families who are unable to qualify for conventional financing but are willing to work hard to improve their family’s lives.

Key initiatives include empowering partner families through education, resources and support to successfully achieve their personal, academic and professional goals; teaching the youth of future homeowner families the skills and attitudes needed to make better life choices and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty; increasing awareness and educating the community regarding issues related to the affordable housing crisis and what they can do to help; pursuing green building certification for Habitat Broward homes in order to make our design more sustainable and eco-friendly; as well as revitalizing and strengthening the community by building affordable homes throughout Broward County.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Broward call (954) 396-3030 or visit www.habitatbroward.org

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