From PR Newswire

Habitat organizations across the country are mobilizing to influence policy and system changes at the federal, state and local levels

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 healthcare to make ends meet. In fact, cost-burdened households with children spend on average $190 less on food and 70 percent less on healthcare when compared with similar households living in affordable homes.

Dallas has the lowest homeownership rate at 41.5% among the state’s largest cities, with the national average being 64%. The stability that homeownership brings continues to remain out of reach for too many people in our region.

On Wednesday, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity 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.

“Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity has already taken several steps to empower more of our neighbors with the personal and economic stability homeownership provides,” said Dave Crawford, Dallas Habitat CEO. “Through HUD-certified homeownership classes, the organization educates hundreds of individuals each year in financial literacy to lay a foundation to become an informed homebuyer on the open market. And with the release of our new digital education library and mobile app this year, anyone can access education modules about topics such as understanding credit scores, and determining a responsible debt-to-income ratio, so that more residents can benefit from the vast resources and knowledge that Dallas Habitat has to offer.”

“We are pleased to be making strides toward more families achieving the goal of homeownership in Dallas. Since 1986, we’ve provided access to potential homeowners through our home builds, neighborhood redevelopment and educational classes, helping thousands become mortgage ready in Dallas County,” said Tosha Herron-Bruff, Dallas Habitat VP of Government Relations.

“Fundamentally, housing is about more than four walls and a roof, it’s about the stability and health of families right here in our neighborhoods. There is nothing more important than that.”

More details about Habitat’s Cost of Home policy platform and campaign activation are available at habitat.org/costofhome. For more information or to speak to Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity about the campaign, please contact Tosha Herron-Bruff at [email protected].