Take action for affordable housing

In New York, 1 in 6 households pay half or more of their income on a place to call home.

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No family should have to spend more than 30% of their income on a home. But nearly 19 million US households pay half or more their income on a place to live. Almost half of all New Yorkers pay more than 30% for housing, and in the Capital District almost one third of our neighbors are burdened by the cost of home.

This is unacceptable. It’s up to all of us—together—to help make the cost of home something we all can afford.

Just like building, advocating for smart policies and systems is a way to create a world where everyone can afford a decent place to live. Advocates and policymakers must acknowledge and address the well documented historic patterns of racial discrimination in housing and land use policies, at all levels of government, that still impact the makeup and opportunities of our communities.

How will you help make the cost of home something we all can afford?

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Cost of Home advocacy platform


Local actions

Make your voice heard in our community.

You can advocate for affordable homeownership right here in our community. Tell your elected officials and representatives about Habitat for Humanity Capital District and the issues that impact our homeowners and our ability to continue building and serving families.

Paid sick leave [read our statement and watch a video here.]

We’ve teamed up with Citizen Action of NYS - Capital District Chapter to ensure every worker has paid sick leave in Albany County. Note: On June 10, 2019, the Albany County Legislature voted down paid sick leave 21-17. But the fight isn’t over.

TAKE ACTION for paid sick leave:

  1. Learn more about paid sick leave by visiting citizenactionny.org/paidsickdays for resources, including what to send your legislator and fact sheets about paid sick days.

  2. Share this graphic with your network, tag your Albany County legislator & Citizen Action of NYS- Capital District Chapter and share why you believe every worker deserves paid sick leave.

Zoning

We’re working closely in community coalitions to make zoning in Albany and Troy work for everyone. We need thoughtful land use and inclusionary zoning policies to ensure every resident can live, work and play in our cities. Follow us on social media and sign up for alerts and calls to action.


State actions

Help all New Yorkers afford decent places to call home.

We’re partnering with other Habitat and community organizations from around the state to increase access to affordable housing.

Affordable Housing Corporation Funding

The rising cost of land, material and labor is quickly outpacing the budgets of housing nonprofits. On top of that, the need for affordable homes needed in our state outgrows availability every year. State funding for affordable housing development has not kept pace. Construction subsides are the main reason we can grow our impact and partner with more and more families each year. Without them, more and more families will be left without an affordable place to call home. We join other Habitat organizations across the state in support of increasing funding from the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC), and we support the AHC reform bill (S. 1824).

TAKE ACTION to increase funding from the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation: Send a letter to our state legislators. Coming soon! Sign up for alerts.

SONYMA-Habitat Mortgage

Habitat advocated for the creation of an affordable mortgage product for Habitat homebuyers. SONYMA (State of New York Mortgage Agency), a state agency, created a 30-year, fixed-rate at 2% interest mortgage product for Habitat homebuyers. This Habitat-specific mortgage has helped over 30 local families build a safe and affordable place to call home, and helps hundreds of families partnering with the 52 Habitat affiliates in New York State. But there is no guarantee that the SONYMA-Habitat mortgage program will be funded every year, so we’re counting on you to help keep the families that benefit from this mortgage lending on the hearts and minds of our state legislators.

TAKE ACTION for the affordable SONYMA-Habitat mortgage product: Send a letter to our state legislators. Coming soon! Sign up for alerts.


National actions

Habitat for Humanity International works at the national level to improve housing and communities throughout the country. One way Habitat does that is by advocating for programs that support our work and keep affordable homebuilding affordable and safe, like AmeriCorps and federal fund programs. Your voice is also needed to help us change national policies that effect everyone’s ability to afford a safe place to call home. That means consumer protections in lending, securing housing finance systems, rental housing regulations and more.

As the White House and Congress work to develop the FY 2020 budget, we support robust funding for the following vital federal housing programs that help Habitat reach the families and communities that need our help the most.

  • $1.5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME), which provides grants to fund building, buying and rehabilitating affordable housing, at HUD.

  • $15 million for the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), which helps purchase home sites and develop or improve infrastructure needs, at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Since its inception, HOME has been the most productive federal resource for low-income homeownership. Locally, HOME funds have helped us build almost half of our 135+ houses.

    $1.2 billion for the 502 Direct Loan Program, which benefits rural households to obtain homeownership, at US Department of Agriculture.

  • $1.1 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which oversees all national service programs including AmeriCorps, at the Department of Health and Human Services.


Global actions

Solid Ground is Habitat for Humanity International’s land tenure and security campaign. Donate your voice to help improve land rights, including securing land rights for women, upgrading slums and informal settlements, and creating more disaster-resilient communities. You learn more and take action at Solid Ground.


Do you have a personal experience with something in our policy platform? Share your experience with us at info@habitatcd.org. Personal stories can go a long way with our policymakers!

Note: Our advocacy platform will reflect current events and affairs, so be sure to sign up for advocacy alerts at the top of this page or at habitatcd.org/subscribe and follow us on social media to see the latest affordable housing issues that need your voice. Don’t forget you can always make an impact for affordable housing locally by donating!

Our advocacy approach is based on decades of on-the-ground experience and policy expertise. In our deep understanding of housing and its role in providing opportunities for families, we seek to reform laws in a non-confrontational, nonpartisan way.

You can register to vote and learn more about voting at vote.gov. (PS We’ll never tell or suggest to you how to vote!)


Shareables

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Don’t forget to use the hashtag #CostOfHome and tag us @habitatcd_org!

Post examples

A home shouldn’t cost anywhere near half your paycheck. But for 1 in 6 families, it does. I’m helping to make the #CostOfHome something we all can afford by taking action with @habitatcd_org. habitatcd.org/take-action

A safe home. Nutritious food. Reliable transportation. Saving for the future. Which would you choose? @habitatcd_org Visit habitatcd.org/take-action to help make the #CostOfHome something we all can afford here in the Capital District and around the country.