3 Reasons Affordable Housing Creates a Better World
A house is not just a house, it is a home – a place that shelters, protects, and nurtures. It offers a safe space for the people inside to thrive and supports their personal and professional development.
We believe affordable housing is not a hand out. It’s a hand up. It gives families’ the ability to reimagine their future without the high cost of rent.
In San Gabriel Valley, the need for affordable housing is apparent. The cost to rent or purchase housing has become less affordable for millions of Californians. What needs to be known is the impact affordable housing can make to families and the community.
Affordable Housing is Great for Kids
Stable, affordable housing is important for children’s future. A study done by Boston College and the MacArthur Foundation detailed how poor quality housing is tied to children’s emotional and behavioral problems.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition reported poor housing quality and residential instability are the strongest predictions of behavioral problems among low-income children.
“Addressing housing affordability is the most cost-effective way of lifting people out of poverty, for reducing childhood poverty and increasing economic mobility, says Sarah Mickelson, senior director of public policy at the National Low Income Housing Coalition.”
For children, a stable place to call home gives them an adequate space to study and the possibility to make a better future for themselves. With a room for a small desk and parent’s ability to spend more time with their children – all of these benefits can lead to a happier and healthier family.
It Builds Sustainable Communities
The need for affordable housing is imperative, not only for families who rely on housing, but neighborhoods. Having affordable housing developments in neighborhoods bring a positive impact on the surrounding communities. SGV Habitat works with city governments, housing organizations, and community advocates to create communities for families to thrive in.
Studies have shown affordable housing uplifts residents, encourages social connection, reduces overcrowding, increases adjacent property values, attracts businesses and jobs, and lowers crime rates.
There are many economic benefits of affordable housing. From increased spending, increased hiring, and increased taxes and revenue for local governments, affordable housing can help communities thrive as well. When families worry less about making rent, those living in affordable housing can spend more on more nutritious food and other essential items. Increasing the buying power for low-income families can mean steady income for local businesses, more job creations, and economic growth. This is proven as more and more shops, restaurants and healthcare facilities open where the NHP Foundation has properties.
Affordable housing developments encourage diversity by creating communities where people of different cultural, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds can unite. Diverse communities increase the knowledge of cultural sensitivity, fairness, and understanding of different backgrounds – ultimately creating a better community overall.
“Community-building investments that help neighbors from diverse backgrounds overcome their fears and suspicions and build positive social relationships across racial and ethnic lines may also help strengthen and stabilize newly diversifying neighborhoods and enable residents to enjoy the potential benefits,” according to a study by the Urban Institute.
By supporting affordable housing in your community, you will be helping a family finally buy their first home, children being able to study in their own rooms, build a stronger and more vibrant community, and much more.
How You Can Help
- Help sustain and expand the Healthy Homes initiatives at the federal, state and local levels, including public-private collaborative programs
- Strengthen enforcement of fair housing laws, including the Fair Housing Act and other state and local regulations prohibiting racial discrimination in housing markets
- Donate now to show your support to fix the housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond
Building the Beloved Community
Habitat for Humanity has a vision of a world where we share one humanity, and that’s a world that we believe in and fight for every day.
We are a faith-based organization, but we realize that faith must be coupled with works and action. As we share in the sadness, anger and uncertainty that have rocked communities across the United States — these protests of the systemic and racial injustice that have infused and informed the life of our nation — we recognize that we must do more.
We must create what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the Beloved Community” — a community that includes diversity and allows for tension undergirded by love and leading to transformation. To do so, we must truly love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We must change. And we must commit to tangible action.
We will do the work in our practices, our programs and our networks that brings equity to our efforts and helps bring justice to the communities in which we work. We will, throughout our ministry, connect issues of racial and social injustice with historic barriers to affordable housing and work to eradicate those barriers.
Historic discrimination in U.S. housing policy — particularly discrimination against Black Americans — is one of the chief drivers of racial inequities that persist today. Organizations like ours that work on housing must understand that history and have it inform our work.
In the tradition of the radical inclusivity that infused our birthplace Koinonia Farm from its earliest days, the leaders of our ministry commit to creating an environment where humility, open communication, dialogue and listening become our standard. In addition to being a space where people of all races, all faiths and all backgrounds come together in common cause, we commit to being actively anti-racist and to affirming, through word and action, that black lives matter and that our communities and systems must further this fundamental truth. We will ensure that our work is infused with courage and accountability so that we make our strong commitment to equity and true community a reality.
The Importance of Advocacy
The Progress You’ve Made Possible
Thanks to your support families throughout the San Gabriel Valley and beyond are witnessing first-hand what it is to have safe and stable housing. In fact, in the last thirty years, your support has helped over 220 families find brighter futures through permanent homeownership. Our work to make homeownership possible for all, however, has only just begun.
The Challenges Ahead
There is a serious housing shortage of over 3 million units in the State of California. The shortage doesn’t end in here. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there is a national housing shortage of 7.2 million units, with no state meeting the housing need of its residents.
Steadily rising housing costs make it difficult for many individuals and families to find housing that is affordable and that meets their needs, forcing them to make difficult tradeoffs between the cost of living and other key necessities.
Laying the Foundation for the Communities of Tomorrow
Solving the housing crisis will not be easy. Making the American Dream a reality for everyone requires significant change to help more families than any one organization could serve alone.
Decreasing the housing deficit at a scale that will solve the housing crisis requires the efforts of individuals, organizations, and elected officials at the local, state, and federal level – it requires everyone to join the cause. While funding causes like SGV Habitat is incredibly important, advocacy is also a critical part of the housing crisis solution.
Why Is Advocacy Important?
Affordable housing is discussed on Capitol Hill, in the White House and federal agencies, and by state and local legislators. Without the voice of constituents like you, regulations and other policy decisions may not reflect what is best for the future of your community.
Living in a democracy means every citizen has the right to advocate. As a constituent, your voice is an important tool that influences the actions of leaders in this country. As an advocate for affordable housing, you can impact on the lives of low-income families by providing policymakers with the personal stories and facts they need to make decisions and write laws.
How Can I Advocate for Affordable Housing?
Your voice matters. Letting your representatives know about the needs of your community ensure that they have the information needed to put legislation in place. There are several ways you can make change:
- Interact with your elected officials on the local, state, and federal level. This website has an easy way to find all of your representatives in one place.
- Educate your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors about affordable housing and its positive effect on communities. In turn, they will also take action!
- Submit op-eds and letters to the editor at your local newspapers and magazines.
- Use social media to spread knowledge and encourage action. It’s as easy as sharing an @SGVHabitat post or blog like this one.
When Can I Start?
Right now! You can begin your affordable housing advocacy journey by following us on social media. You’ll be sure to find plenty of information to share with your inner (and outer) circle.
Letter from Mark – Summer 2020
Dear Habitat Family,
Carlos and Diana love being parents. Their two children—Isabella and Nicholas—have grown up faster than they ever imagined! Several years ago, Carlos and Diana gave up their small apartment’s only bedroom and moved their bed into the living room. This allowed their children to have more privacy but made it increasingly difficult for Carlos, who slept during daytime hours, to accommodate a graveyard work shift.
Fatigue, sleeplessness, and overcrowding are things Carlos knew too well until 2019 when Carlos and Diana became Habitat homeowners.
This summer and every summer to come, Carlos, Diana, and their children will enjoy their three-bedroom home! Gone are the days of fatigue, sleeplessness, and overcrowding for Carlos and his family. Not only do Carlos, Diana, Isabella, and Nicholas all have the room they need to thrive, but owning their own home gives them the safety and security needed to have peace of mind during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we navigate through this evolving health crisis, our resources have been strained, creating even more barriers for families, like Carlos and Diana’s, in our community who are in desperate need of affordable housing. This is a time for the community to come together and for neighbors to help neighbors. Building better homes and brighter futures starts with you!
We’ve got until June 30 to raise $77,000 so we can continue to help families all summer long! Your generosity today can help us continue to address the housing crisis during and after COVID-19. With your support, we can give families like Carlos and Diana’s the opportunity to build and buy their very own homes. Access to decent and affordable housing helps families achieve the independence they need to build brighter futures for themselves and their children. By giving them a hand up – not a handout – families can overcome the obstacles that stand between them and healthier, more financially stable lives.
With your continued support today, we will be able to continue our ambitious plan and help even more families access safe, healthy, and affordable homes. Here’s how:
• Actively process 200+ homeownership and home repair applications to help families access the housing they need.
• Create 30 new homeownership opportunities in the next 18 months in Alhambra, Altadena, Azusa, Baldwin Park, El Monte, Monterey Park, and Pasadena.
• Continue and expand our critical home repair program to ensure that low-income homeowners, including many seniors and Veterans, have a safe and healthy home.
• We’ve opened a new ReStore in Duarte. The store sells new and used quality furniture, appliances, home décor, and building supplies. 100% of the store’s revenue will help build and repair homes right here in the San Gabriel Valley region.
Building better homes and brighter futures starts with you!
Because of your past financial support and the tireless efforts of our dedicated volunteers, more than 200 families in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond have found strength, stability and independence by partnering with San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity. With a generous gift today, you can help us continue to build more homes and change more lives!
Your support will give more local families—like Carlos and Diana’s—a safe roof over their head and a solid foundation under their feet…something every family needs to succeed. Please give what you can this summer towards building better homes and brighter futures right here in Northeast Los Angeles, Glendale, Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley – every dollar makes a difference!
Mark Van Lue, Executive Director