Why Does Owning a Home Matter?

A homeowner helps with construction, a family breaks ground on a new homeOne in six Americans is in need of a decent, affordable place to live. 1

Some of the housing problems our neighbors struggle with include:

  • High rents which make hardworking families live paycheck to paycheck
  • Overcrowding
  • Inadequate or unsafe conditions
  • Long term or repetitive homelessness

Here in Whatcom County, about half of local low-income renters spend half or more of their income on housing, which often forces them to choose between housing and meeting other critical needs.2

Research shows that it owning a home is one of the most powerful tools available for permanently elevating families out of economic poverty. Habitat for Humanity’s home ownership program allows hard-working families to purchase decent and affordable homes.

How does home ownership fight poverty?

In multiple ways. Homeowners tend to:

  • Have more economic opportunities
  • Be more involved in their communities
  • Increase property values and safety in neighborhoods
  • Increase the local tax base, improving public services
  • Have an financial safety net and wealth to pass on to their children through their home equity

Their children tend to:

  • Be healthier
  • Do better in school, leading to more successful adult lives
  • Be more likely to own their own homes

At Habitat, we estimate that around 20,000 families in Whatcom County could qualify to purchase a home through our program. We do not have the resources to meet this need, but with your help, and by working together with other agencies and non-profits, government, corporate, and faith groups, we believe we can end inadequate housing in our community.

1. Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, 2010.

2. Whatcom Prosperity Project, 2010.