Housing is a human right and we need to return to the American Dream of affording a home. A good home provides protection. Children are less exposed to violence and sexual abuse. It can increase the opportunities for earning income. It is easier to send kids to school and after school programs. Having a home gives you better access to healthcare. A safe and good home reduces mental stress and makes it easier to be included. We must keep this dream alive.
We are in a housing crisis and the increase in housing prices is causing economic harm. People are spending the majority of their income on housing. With the price of housing so high people are facing food insecurity, can’t afford health care and cutting costs where possible. It greatly reduces the demand for consumer goods. This threatens the wellbeing of the community. There is not a county or state where a minimum wage full time worker can afford a two bedroom apartment.
The burden of significant rent increases makes it more difficult to thrive. We need to invest in affordable rental housing. We need to minimize the harms Covid 19 has caused on renters. We need to create better more accessible subsidized housing. We need to end discriminating practices and segregation with housing.
While a home owner may see their wealth rise a renter will see lower income. This creates wealth disparities this can hurt future generations wealth inequality. Having a home increases the possibilities for strong social, economic and cultural connections. Covid 19 has exposed the disparities in our communities and the underserved are suffering more than affluent communities. Poverty is on the rise.
When households spend most of their income on housing, they have less money to spend on social events. Budget constraints often leave individuals unable to partake in events that cost money. Participating in community events gives individuals the sense of belonging it is healthy to participate in events that create a stronger community. Participating is good for the economy, and builds a healthier economy.
Food insecurity is another downside of expensive housing. Healthy diet and nutrition are important for a vital life. Brain function and body function depend on a healthy diet. When housing costs are so high often good nutritious food is replaced by lower cost unhealthy diets. Malnutrition causes underdevelopment in children and poor health.This has a negative impact on society.
Land availability and zoning laws are major obstacles to subsidized housing. High quality subsidized housing needs long term commitment and not a band aid. We need to create incentives to construction of affordable homes we need to empower borrowers and create more options for first time borrowers. Partnerships with Habitat for Humanity and using land trusts and socialized housing are options that need to be used. Community space and future affordability needs to be a priority.
Racial equity needs to be addressed. We need increased minority home ownership opportunities. We need to invest in distressed racial segregated neighborhoods. We need inclusive housing options that embrace diversity. History shows black people have been left out of home ownership and a target population to predatory lending. We must end discriminatory practices to home ownership and affordable housing. Integration must be the answer to segregation and structural racism.
Everyone deserves a roof over their head. We have the skills to create new and innovating housing options. We have the power to be inclusive with housing designs and community needs. Affordable housing can only help our community during these times of uncertainty. The benefits of affordable housing make it worth investing in. The health, safety and wellbeing of our families and communities depend on it. Housing is a human right and it must be affordable for all income levels. We have the ability to return the American dream of affording a home, a place of prosperity and pride.