At Habitat Wake, we have an ambitious mission to create a world in which everybody has an affordable place to live. This goal becomes increasingly difficult as the cost of housing skyrockets in Wake and Johnston counties and beyond.
The need for housing in our community is great; 1 in every 4 households lack affordable housing and we have a net loss of 900 affordable units every year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the immense need for housing relief and long-term solutions. Right now, a worker needs to earn over $23 per hour to afford a 2-bedroom apartment at fair market rent.
The stakes are too high not to act on affordable housing. By advocating for policies, solutions, and funding for investment in affordable housing, we can increase affordable housing options for families in our community and bring us closer to our goal of affordable housing for all.
To meet this challenge in 2022, we are advocating for:
1.) Bold investments in housing infrastructure and housing relief for families financially impacted by COVID
Foreclosure prevention assistance for homeowners, emergency financial assistance for renters, and extended repayment options are more important than ever. Eviction moratoriums have ended, but the pandemic continues to destabilize our community. Housing infrastructure investments are also critical to recovering from the pandemic and ensuring that everyone has an affordable home.
2.) Equitable access to transit, including bus routes aligned with affordable housing and increased access to transportation options for Habitat homeowners
Housing and transportation costs make up half of the average household’s budget. Access to public transit results in greater economic opportunities for residents and can reduce transportation costs and commuting time, which are often substantial.
3.) Property tax solutions for homeowners to gain long term affordability
Property taxes are important in ensuring our community has the services and infrastructure for quality of life. We also want to ensure homeowners can afford to stay in their homes long-term, especially in gentrifying neighborhoods. Providing tax assistance can help ensure residents are not priced out.
4.) Equitable land use policy that ensures affordability as our area grows
Zoning and land use policies impact the location and type of housing that is built in our community. As our area grows, it’s important to adjust zoning codes to allow for a variety of housing options, such as townhomes, duplexes and cottage courts. Higher density housing is cheaper to build and reduces costs associated with affordable housing construction.
5.) Development practices that increase housing options for households that earn less than 80% of median income
Acquiring permits and approvals for home construction can be lengthy, impacting a project’s schedule and costs. Expediting this process for affordable housing projects can reduce costs and encourage the development of more affordable units.
To build a world where everyone has an affordable place to live, we need everyone. That means you, too! Join us in 2022 to learn how to organize your community, influence decision makers, and build support for affordable housing in our community. Sign up for the Advocacy Ambassadors program, and join us on Saturday, January 29 for our program kick-off!