Nearly 19 million households across the United States are spending at least half of their income on a place to live, often forgoing basic necessities such as food and health care to make ends meet. The stability that housing should bring continues to remain out of reach for many people. The negative impacts of lack of affordable housing along the Wasatch Back are seen in poor educational outcomes, high commuting costs, growing traffic problems, poor air quality, reduced health outcomes, and a fractured community.
On June 12th, 2019, Habitat for Humanity of Summit & Wasatch Counties 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.
In order to advance the first objective, Habitat for Humanity of Summit & Wasatch Counties will convene local affordable housing providers, government officials, and stakeholders together in a series of meetings to identify and discuss barriers to the creation of affordable housing, including zoning, regulations, approval processes, funding, and other areas of friction.
“Local needs assessments continue to identify lack of affordable housing as a critical issue along the Wasatch Back, but little focus has been placed on addressing problematic systems and key policies needed for supply-side solutions to the construction of affordable units” explains Cheryl Butler, Habitat for Humanity Board Member.
More details about Habitat’s Cost of Home policy platform and campaign activation are available at habitat.org/costofhome.