What would you have to give up if the cost of your home was more than half your income every month?
Could you get by just by giving up the “extras” that you enjoy? Would it eat into your budget for affordable food? What about doctor appointments and health care? Could you afford the car maintenance and repairs necessary for reliable transportation?
Those are the questions that Habitat Goldsboro-Wayne and hundreds of affiliates across the United States are asking as we kick off the new #CostOfHome advocacy campaign this month.
And unfortunately, those are the questions that many families in our community and across the country are forced to ask themselves every month.
Across the United States, one third of all households are cost-burdened, spending more than 30% of their income in housing costs. In Wayne County the number of cost burdened households is 27%. Even worse off are those families that are paying more than 50% of their income in housing costs.
We see this conundrum all the time here at Habitat Goldsboro-Wayne. Families are forced to choose between overpaying for a decent place to live or putting their children in potentially unsafe or unsanitary conditions in order to have enough money to live on.
But while Habitat for Humanity has been very successful over the years addressing these problems one family at a time – 80 new homes since 2001 for Habitat Goldsboro-Wayne – we know we can’t make our vision of a decent and affordable home for everyone a reality by ourselves.
That’s why the #CostOfHome campaign was launched last week – to advocate for systemic changes in four key areas on local, state and national levels:
Increase the supply and preservation of affordable homes
Equitably increase access to credit
Ensure access to and development of communities of opportunity
Optimize land use for affordable housing
So, ask yourself, "What can I do to make the Cost of Home affordable for everyone?"