Community Need

Ninety-five million people in the United States (one-third of the nation) have housing problems, including lack of affordability, overcrowding, unsafe conditions, and homelessness.

Housing is considered affordable when it consumes 30% or less of the household gross income. In general, if households are spending more than this on housing, they lack the financial means to cover other basic needs.

In our four county area (Stearns, Benton, Sherburne and Wright) more than 30,000 homeowners, and 13,000 renters, are paying more than 30% of their household income for their housing. This creates tremendous instability in our communities, weakens our economy, and even impacts our health and educational success.

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.

Health
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. Also, health problems associated with overcrowding are alleviated.
 
Economic prosperity
A healthy housing market attracts businesses that depend on a range of housing options for their employees.
In addition, when families have a stable housing situation and can more comfortably provide for their families again, they become more active consumers.
 
Education
Stable, healthy housing is one of the most effective strategies for improving school performance in low income children.
 
Transportation
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.
 
Environment
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.