While ballots are still being counted, Habitat for Humanity is telling members of Congress to keep their foot on the gas by returning to Washington to take urgent action on housing stability and investment. Studies show that 30-40 million people in the U.S. are at risk of eviction and the risk of foreclosures and bankruptcy have “sharply increased,” with housing protections set to expire on New Year’s Eve.
Today through its Cost of Home national advocacy campaign, Habitat is outlining a set of immediate priorities for the current Congress to undertake to provide immediate housing relief, including mortgage and rental payment assistance that will help stave off a looming eviction and foreclosure crisis, which would disproportionately impact communities of color. The CDC’s eviction moratorium is currently set to expire Dec. 31, as is the moratorium on foreclosures of homes backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
“The American people have been through a lot with the pandemic uprooting any semblance of normal life and a divisive election that has left us all exhausted,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “But we can’t afford to take a break. Millions of families are facing the very real and very dangerous challenge of a future without adequate housing. While we don’t know yet who won every seat, we do know that our current elected leaders still have a job to do.
“We need to come together and focus our energies on a crisis taking place in homes across all of our nation, red and blue, urban and rural. There is no time to waste. It’s time to act now for housing. Policymakers at all levels of government must revive their efforts to both provide immediate housing stability and invest in housing as the foundation to long-term economic and societal recovery. At a time when a safe and decent home has never been more important, millions of American families need action to make the cost of home something we all can afford.”
Habitat is also calling on newly elected and reelected policymakers at all levels of government to treat housing as infrastructure and a driver of economic recovery as they set their 2021 legislative agendas by including robust funding to build affordable homes, as well as ensuring equitable access to healthy housing and communities of opportunity.
Through the Cost of Home campaign, Habitat for Humanity organizations across the country are working with policymakers to enact policies that will enable access to affordable homes. Today, 525 Habitat for Humanity organizations from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., sent letters to leaders of Congress and the Executive Branch calling for immediate action on urgent housing relief. Habitat is committed to continuing its housing advocacy through working with elected officials at all levels of government to find and implement policy solutions that will enable access to affordable homes for 10 million people in the U.S. over the course of the 5-year Cost of Home campaign.
Habitat is asking supporters to join its call at habitat.org/act-now-for-housing.