Cost of Home
Families across the United States are paying too high a price to cover the cost of their home. Rents and homeownership costs are skyrocketing, while wages are not keeping pace. Far too often, families struggle to make ends meet. Everywhere you look – cities, suburbs, rural areas – the stability that home should bring remains out of reach for too many families. At Habitat for Humanity, we know a family should never have to spend more than 30% of their income on a home. But today over 19 million U.S. households pay half or more of their income on a place to live. That means that 1 in 6 U.S. families are denied the personal and economic stability that safe, decent and affordable housing provides.
This issue isn’t just a national issue. It’s an issue right here in Frederick County where 34,688 households – 39% of our local population – cannot afford basic needs such as housing, child care, food, transportation and health care (ALICE report).
Families are being forced to make impossible choices because the cost of housing is too high. That is unacceptable.
Safe homes. Nutritious food on the table. Health care. Access to good schools. Reliable transportation. Which would you choose?
We believe everyone deserves to build the foundation for a strong, healthy future for themselves and their families.That’s why Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County has 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. 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.
Make the Cost of Home Something we can all afford. You can be part of the campaign and part of the solution:
1 Learn More
Visit habitat.org/costofhome to learn more about the national effort. Here you can learn about the national campaign, the goals, objectives and how advocacy is intricately linked with the work that Habitat does everyday to ensure more people have access to the strength, stability and self-reliance of affordable home ownership.
2 Use Your Voice
Tell your local legislators to support policies to improve housing affordability. Specifically, we are asking local residents to urge the Frederick County Council to change the current Impact Fee structure. Frederick County is one of the only counties in the State that has ‘flat-rate’ Impact Fees, meaning the fee is the same regardless of size, type, density, location or any other factor on the home. Therefore it is the same fee for a large, single-family home as it is for a modest, small home. These fees can be waived by a nonprofit homebuilder like Habitat, however, if done, the fee gets passed on to the low-income homebuyer as a lien on their property. The result is that our local flat-rate Impact Fees have a regressive effect, falling disproportionately on those with lower incomes. We must do better.
Click here to download a template letter to our County Council, sign it and send it to the County Council asking them to revise Impact Fee legislation.
3 Make a Gift
Make a donation to the work of Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County. Your gift supports local advocacy work and local projects. Your donation will give local residents the strength, stability and self-reliance.