I attended Habitat for Humanity’s annual legislative advocacy conference in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. Habitat has long held that our building houses alone will not get us anywhere close to eliminating substandard housing from the world, but that our building of homes plus a strong advocacy voice will be what it takes.
In Proverbs 31:8-9 we hear our call to advocacy:
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Habitat has a strong brand and we have access to speak to those in power on behalf of those we serve and are yet to serve who have a need for better housing.
There is a definite budget-balancing rhetoric in Washington these days as there should be. Even so, we took our message to Capitol Hill that the small amount of federal funding that Habitat receives is vitally important to help us to continue to reach more families in our communities with a housing need. I was able to meet with staff from the offices of Sen. Kay Hagan and of Reps. Ellmer and Holding. All are familiar with Habitat’s work and we pray that effective federal programs such as HUD’s Self Help Homeownership Program (SHOP) that funds site acquisition and infrastructure development costs and the Corporation for National Service’s AmeriCorps and VISTA programs will be kept intact as Members of Congress seek ways to reduce federal spending. Click here to learn more about Habitat’s U.S. Domestic Policy priorities.
By speaking up for families in need who aren’t able to speak for themselves, we build louder and call attention to the great need for adequate housing across our country and world.