The Solutions

The Cost of Home campaign’s advocacy for policy solutions focus on four policy areas which are critical to narrowing our racial divides and helping all families achieve home affordability and lasting security

Increasing the supply and preservation of affordable homes

 Almost every area in the U.S. faces a shortage of safe, decent and affordable homes, particularly ones available to those earning modest incomes. The housing supply can be increased by preserving existing affordable housing and by adding new units, as well as expanding homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers.  To this end, we support policies that:

  • Streamline permitting processes and reduce fees for affordable housing construction
  • Expand public investments to meet the affordable housing need
  • Increase funding for public-private partnerships that build affordable homes for low-income families
  • Create affordable housing incentives
  • Increase down payment assistance programs

Equitably increasing access to credit

Credit is difficult, if not impossible, for many households to access, and minority and lower income applicants often do not have access to credit at all or have access to only predatory credit. The campaign will support advocacy for policies that increase and broaden access to safe and sound credit for underserved populations.

Optimizing land use for affordable housing

 Land is often among the greatest costs encountered in developing homes, whether for rental or for ownership. The Cost of Home campaign will support advocacy for land acquisition, use, and development related policies that bring down the cost to build, and otherwise stimulate the production and preservation of affordable housing, promote fair housing, and fully reflect community needs, including those that:

  • Lower the cost of homebuilding and land use regulations
  • Increase the supply of housing in urban areas where there is limited land to build on
  • Local zoning reform that allows more density in cities and suburbs
  • Streamline rezoning and land use processes

Ensuring access to and development of communities of opportunity

 At Habitat, we know that home isn’t just a building; it includes the community and resources in which you live, work and grow. Affordable homes must be built in environmentally sound areas with access to economic and social opportunity, and viable transportation. Moreover, as communities experience increasingly new development and investment, they need systems in place to preserve affordability and prevent the displacement of current residents, many of whom are lower income. Independent of location, homes must be well-constructed and mitigated against disasters to control the health, maintenance, sustainability and energy costs of the home. The campaign will support advocacy for policies that protect and strengthen neighborhoods and enable communities to thrive.