deserves a decent, safe, affordable place to live.
Greater Matthews Habitat for Humanity recognizes that many families in our service area are struggling with the rising costs of rent, availability of affordable homes, and often feel their living conditions are unfit for their families. Greater Matthews Habitat's mission is to build a community that is livable and affordable for all.
What is Affordable Housing?
The federal government defines affordable housing as housing that doesn't cost more than thirty percent (30%) of your income. This includes the cost of your rent or mortgage, insurance costs, property taxes, and utilities.
Studies have shown that when families have to spend more than 30% of their income on housing, they are unable to afford other basic necessities, such as healthy food or medical care.
In North Carolina, minimum wage is $7.25 - meaning affordable rent for that worker would be $377, or that person would have to work 160 hours a week to afford the average Matthews rent of $1,392.
From 2014-2018, almost 12% of all households in Matthews reported spending 50% or more of their income on housing.
In Matthews, 68% of existing affordable homes are over 30 years old, and likely in serious need of repair. But many of these homes are occupied by lower-income households who do not have money for repairs or options to find alternative housing elsewhere.1] ttps://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/cp.html#20
As a result of this housing situation, many families must live in substandard conditions or make the impossible decision of sacrificing other basic necessities such as healthy and nutritious food, medical care, or emergency savings.
Cost-burdened renters and homeowners in the bottom income quartile spend significantly less on food, health care, transportation and retirement savings than other families in their income bracket whose housing is affordable. Families in this income bracket with severe housing cost burdens are making even more dramatic sacrifices, such as cutting back on health care spending by nearly 70%.
The Benefits of a Decent Affordable Home
Research has shown that a lack of safe, affordable housing can negatively impact health. There is an increased likelihood for severe mental or physical illnesses, environmental illnesses such as asthma or lead poisoning, and nutritional conditions such as type 2 diabetes. Families who spend more than 30% of their income on housing are also unable to purchase medication and medical supplies or visit the physician when they are sick.
Children in stable housing are absent less and have fewer behavioral problems. They are less likely to switch schools, which leads to better academic performance and score better on cognitive development tests. Parents in an affordable home have greater discretionary income and can spend more on enrichment activities, setting children up for success both in and outside the classroom.
Families in affordable homes have greater discretionary income to spend on child care, transportation, and education. They are able to save better for long-term expenses and maintain an emergency fund. They have more money to spend in their local community and are more likely to break away from the vicious cycle of intergenerational poverty.
Invest in people.
Invest in possibilities.