Solving for Home Insecurity with Affordable Housing
Not only is part of the American Dream to have a home of one’s own, but stable, affordable housing is central to individuals’ and families’ well-being. It plays a critical role in people’s lives—as a major consumption item, a source of safety and stability, the place where one pursues education or employment, and an encouraged means for accumulating wealth.
Every town and city relies on a diverse blend of people whose incomes, assets, and circumstances call for a range of housing types, affordability levels, and related services. Community-based workers need reasonably priced housing near work. New households and growing families need an expanding housing stock with affordable options. Retirees need options for remaining connected and engaged within their community, even if they downsize or look for car-free neighborhood options. And people who have faced traumas, substance use disorders, or justice system involvement need supportive and stable housing in which to regain their footing.
And while, America’s homeless population has decline, an unprecedented number of families in the U.S. are living on the brink of homelessness. An estimated one in four families, spend at least half of their monthly income on rent. That average will continue to rise as rents costs steadily increase while wages stagnate.
These families, our neighbors, are considered “housing insecure,” as they are often just one unforeseen event — an illness, a job loss, even a drop in hours at work — from seeing an eviction notice on their front door. In the meantime, they have to sacrifice and make difficult trade-offs simply to keep a roof over their heads. Some have to settle for overcrowded or unsafe housing, while others are left with impossible choices: make rent or buy groceries, pay the electric bill or put gas in the car to get to work.
Millions of families, every day and in every community, are living in crisis. They are parents working to provide for their children. Seniors. Men and women with disabilities. Veterans who fought bravely for our country.
Here’s the good news: we know what it takes to help families and individuals out of housing insecurity. The answer is quality, affordable housing. Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity builds homes in partnership with qualifying families and our community. Families interested in becoming a homeowner can simply start the process by completing a Homeowner Application. Habitat homes are attractive and well built, with new home prices averaging about $119,000, plus the cost of land. Habitat’s homeownership program offers people like postal workers, teachers, retail workers – fellow community members – the opportunity to live in and invest in their community.
Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity works to combat the rising issue of substandard housing with homes priced at affordable levels for sustainable, long-term homeownership.
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