In the United Sates alone, 95 million people, one third of the nation, have housing problems including payments too large a percentage of their income, overcrowding, poor quality shelter and homelessness.(1) Throughout the world, people live in inadequate housing, and Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to providing decent, affordable homes for those in need.
Importance of clean, decent, and stable housing
Habitat for Humanity has shown that building homes does more than put a roof over someone’s head. When families have a stable, affordable home, they can:
- Provide stability for their children
- Gain improved health, physical safety, and security
- Increase educational and job prospects
- Be engaged in their communities
Housing is important to the quality of life, health and economic prosperity of the entire community:
Inadequate housing impacts health, especially the health of children. After moving into Habitat homes, asthma and allergies are two conditions that dramatically improve in children.
A healthy housing market attracts businesses that depend on a range of housing options for their employees.
Stable, healthy housing is one of the most effective strategies for improving school performance in low income children.
When people can find good housing that they can afford near their work, it improves our transportation system by decreasing congestion and reducing commuting costs.
Habitat’s commitment to green building produces energy-efficient homes that are more affordable to maintain. Additionally, building housing near public transportation and thriving job centers results in diminished air pollution and congestion.
(1) America’s Neighbors: The Affordable Housing Crisis and the People it Affects, National Low Income Housing Coalition, Washington, DC (2004) www.nlihc.org.