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deserves a decent, safe, affordable place to live.

Why Housing

Homeownership can transform lives. It creates long-lasting and life-changing impact on families and communities, from providing a source of wealth and asset-building to influencing health and educational outcomes and contributing to positive community development. 

Improving affordable homeownership leads to:

✔ Greater economic stability.

✔ Access to quality education.

✔ Increased civic and social engagement.

✔ Better health.

✔ Reduced environmental footprint.

Yet half of U.S. adults face barriers to accessing the stability and security that affordable homeownership provides -  which is why we work 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.

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Why Home Matters


Who has access to homeownership?

Homeownership can transform lives. It creates long-lasting and life-changing impact on families and communities, from providing a source of wealth and asset-building to influencing health and educational outcomes and contributing to positive community development. The first step in bringing homeownership to more families, however, is to understand who currently has access to homeownership and what factors play a role.


What are the benefits to homeownership?

Improving affordable homeownership leads to numerous outcomes that extend beyond the house, such as greater economic stability, access to quality education, increased civic and social engagement, better health, and a reduced environmental footprint. This evidence brief provides an overview of how families can prosper with greater access to decent, affordable housing.


How does homeownership contribute to wealth building?

Low-income households and households of color have limited access to homeownership because of barriers such as the limited supply of affordable housing, restricted access to credit, and systemic inequities. For those low-income households and households of color, homeownership can be a catalyst to wealth building. Home equity accounts for over half their net wealth, but these gains from homeownership vary by income, gender, and race/ethnicity.


How do racial inequities limit homeownership opportunities?

Black and Hispanic/Latino households face unique barriers to homeownership that prevent access to the beneficial outcomes associated with homeownership, such as wealth building, improved health, and higher educational attainment. Historically, structural and institutional obstacles faced by racial and ethnic minorities compounded over time to produce these inequities.

The racial wealth gap

The racial health gap

The racial education gap


How does housing impact health?

Social determinants of health are factors that encompass how people are born, grow, live, work and age and that affect their health outcomes. The social determinants of health include aspects that range from socioeconomic status to the neighborhood and physical environment and are recognized by multiple health care and other organizations as necessary for improving overall health and reducing health disparities.


How does housing affect children's education?

The location and condition of a child’s house plays a significant role in their physical, cognitive and emotional development and well-being, which impacts their education through improved attendance, better cognitive and behavioral health, and improved academic achievement. Making direct connections between housing and its impact on children’s education is challenging. However, studies have drawn a pathway between owning a decent, affordable and stable home and experiencing positive educational outcomes.


How does homeownership contribute to civic and social engagement?

People with low incomes have generally been less civically engaged than the population at large. Because of this, they have less political and social influence and less ability to advocate for policies and issues affecting them. Homeownership motivates increased civic engagement regardless of income level, so increasing opportunities for homeownership among people with low incomes will increase their political and social involvement.


How does housing affect energy efficiency?

Lowering the energy costs of families with low incomes will help to free up their resources to minimize trade-offs between keeping their homes at a comfortable temperature or paying for food, medical care, and shelter.


Invest in people.

Invest in possibilities. 

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