Cost of Home

Cost of Home is a five-year advocacy campaign through which local Habitat organizations, partners, volunteers and community members across the country are working together so that 10 million people have access to an affordable home.  Cost of Home has already helped more than 1.5 million people access decent housing through our advocacy to influence policies at the local, state and federal level. But we haven’t reached our goal — yet. That’s why we need you to join us

Families all across the United States are paying too high a price to cover the cost of home.  Everywhere you look — cities, suburbs, rural areas — the stability that home should bring remains out of reach for far too many families.

At Habitat for Humanity, we know that a family should never have to spend more than 30% of their income on a home. But consider that even before the coronavirus pandemic, more than 18 million U.S. households were paying half or more of their income on a place to live. Now, as the significant economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to unfold, the number of families struggling to make ends meet is only growing.

That is unacceptable.

We know the complexities that surround the cost of home. We also know the struggle, stress and pain of far too many families in our communities. Families who have suffered from redlining, racial inequality and the housing disparities that follow. Families who have worked hard and still come up short, not because of their own efforts but because of systemic issues and an inequitable economy. And we know that those with the fewest resources are always the ones who are forced to make the hardest choices.

Everyone deserves to build the foundation for a stable, healthy future for themselves and their families — no matter who they are, where they live or how much money they earn.

What is housing affordability?

Families across the United States are paying too high a price to cover the cost of home. Rents and homeownership costs are skyrocketing while wages are not keeping pace. Everyone should have enough money left over after paying rent or mortgage costs to cover life’s necessities.  Experts generally say that the maximum a family should pay for housing is 30% of their income. Any more than 30%, and a family is considered cost-burdened, which means they often find themselves making tough choices when it comes to other needs.

2020 State of the Nation’s Housing report

This report, released by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and proudly sponsored by Habitat for Humanity, provides valuable data that will guide our work as we aim to influence housing policy through the Cost of Home campaign.

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Act now: Tell Congress you support housing stability and Habitat during COVID-19 pandemic

Join us in calling on members of Congress to prioritize the needs of low-income families and the organizations that work hard to serve them.

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