Our Community’s Need for Affordable Housing
We all thrive when our neighbors live in safe, affordable homes.
A decent place to live removes the barriers to opportunity, success and health that have affected families for years, if not generations. A Habitat home gives people the strong foundation necessary to build better lives, providing a stabilizing force for their families, neighborhoods and larger communities.
Central Florida’s affordable housing crisis at a glance
The Orlando Metro area is the 7th worst in the U.S. for affordable housing, having only 20 affordable and available homes for every 100 low-income renter households.
affordable housing affects our community
Affordable housing makes it possible for families to become self-sufficient.
Once they are no longer at the mercy of rising rents, people who own affordable homes can better afford more nutritious food, healthcare, higher education, and more. These homeowners can also begin making more forward-looking economic choices – like building up savings to weather tough times.
This stability affects more than the homeowner – it affects their family as well. The children of homeowners can stay in the same schools, meaning they won’t fall behind on their grades and can participate in enriching afterschool activities.
“Increasing access to affordable housing is the most cost-effective strategy for reducing childhood poverty in the United States” – Opportunities to End Homelessness and Housing Poverty in the 116 Congress, National Low Income Housing Coalition
A safe, well-kept home can mean healthier occupants as well. Overcrowded or poorly maintained housing conditions contribute to asthma and other physical illnesses, as well as home accidents.
“A safe, decent, affordable home is like a vaccine,” Dr. Megan Sandel of the Boston University School of Medicine testified to Congress in 2007. “It literally prevents disease.
“A safe home can prevent mental health and developmental problems, a decent home may prevent asthma or lead poisoning, and an affordable home can prevent stunted growth and unnecessary hospitalizations.”
What do all of these affordable housing benefits mean for the community? Taxpayers save on juvenile justice; teen pregnancy; education remediation; homeless shelters; supportive housing; and other social services associated with cost-burdened families, bringing economic and social benefits instead.
Homeownership and safer communities create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, attract employers, increase consumer spending and government revenues, and lower the risk of foreclosure; all while bringing transformative benefits to families.
Investing in affordable homeownership is one of the wisest community investments possible. It reaps immediate social and economic rewards and the returns grow with every new generation.
Habitat Orlando & Osceola’s work to support affordable housing
Habitat Orlando & Osceola fills a critical need in our community by building and supporting safe, affordable housing. We help local people permanently remove themselves from the brutal competition for affordable rental housing – and help them instead thrive as homeowners.
A new home, fair mortgage, nominal down payment, small energy bills, low maintenance for years, and potential homeowner tax deductions make this the ideal way for families to make gains in health, education, and financial stability – for generations.
Most Habitats build one or two homes per year, while we build neighborhoods at a rate of about 30 new homes and repair about 80 homes in low–income areas each year. This makes us one of the top 20 “Super Habitats” for our rate of production out of about 1,300 affiliates in the U.S.