(above: A Postcard from our Cost of Home Campaign)
On Wednesday, June 12, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) 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.
Nearly 19 million U.S. households today pay half or more of their income on a place to live. That means 1 in 6 families are denied the personal and economic stability that safe, decent and affordable housing provides. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) works to improve home affordability in Los Angeles County each day and will be emphasizing this need through Habitat for Humanity’s new Cost of Home national advocacy campaign.
According to the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority’s recent 2019 report, about a quarter of unsheltered adults lost their housing in 2018 and are experiencing homelessness for the first time. Los Angeles needs 516,946 new affordable housing units to meet the needs of low-income renters. The Cost of Home campaign aims to increase home affordability by advocating for expanded state and federal funding and access to affordable housing.
The campaign will focus 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 LA already has taken several steps toward these goals. In May 2019, Habitat LA partnered with four of the nation’s top construction companies (Clark Construction, Gilbane Building Company, Turner Construction Company, and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company) to build four new homes in just 11 days for future Habitat homeowners in the Willowbrook area (119th Street) of the city of Los Angeles.
On June 7 and 8, 2019 – Habitat LA launched the Cost of Home campaign at the annual Hollywood Build event, shining the spotlight on affordable housing with more than 300 entertainment industry executives, celebrities, corporate leaders, government officials, faith groups, and community stakeholders who worked side-by-side with current and future Habitat LA homeowners to help construct a 10-home community in Culver City. During the event, volunteers completed hundreds of postcards to local policymakers, advocating for expanded state and federal funding for affordable housing. The event raised nearly $300,000 that will help Habitat LA build, rebuild or repair over 100 homes this year to address the housing affordability crisis.
“Habitat LA works each day to solve the affordability crisis through permanent solutions for our partner homebuyers,” said Erin Rank, President and CEO of Habitat LA. “We have a successful model at Habitat LA and have less than 1% default rate nationwide on our mortgages. We invest in families who wouldn’t qualify to buy houses through the traditional lending model and we use those mortgage payments to help more families move into affordable housing. Our model helps families pay it forward.”
We need your help to launch Cost of Home in the greater Los Angeles area! Here’s what you can do to support the campaign right now:
- Post on social media, using #CostOfHome, tag us @HabitatLA and link to Habitat’s Cost of Home website, habitat.org/costofhome.
- Write or call your legislators and tell them to support policies to improve housing affordability. Use this pre-populated email to get you started!
- Tell three friends about the campaign by forwarding this email.
Take action to support the Cost of Home campaign today and together we can help make the #CostOfHome something we ALL can afford.