The Case for Habitat
The world is experiencing a global housing crisis. About 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing and 100 million are homeless, according to United Nations’ statistics. These people are increasingly urban residents, and every week more than a million people are born in, or move to, cities in the developing world. Today, a billion people—32 percent of the global urban population—live in urban slums. If no serious action is taken, the United Nations reports that the number of slum dwellers worldwide will increase over the next 30 years to nearly 2 billion.
In the United States alone, 95 million people, one third of the nation, experience housing problems including payments that are too large as a percentage of their income, overcrowding, poor quality shelter, and homelessness. Throughout the world, people live in inadequate housing, and Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to providing decent, affordable homes for those in need.
Affordable, decent housing is one of our most basic human needs, yet it is in alarmingly short supply in our very own neighborhoods, our nation and throughout the world.
Through hard work and thousands of hours of sweat equity, Habitat MidOhio donors and volunteers have played a role in rekindling hope for over 330 families living in Franklin, Licking, and Madison counties.
Habitat MidOhio works with families and communities to break the cycle of poverty through home ownership.
But rampant poverty and the dire need for affordable housing in our community continues unabated as we endure widespread foreclosures and rising energy and health costs.
Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio (HFHMO) enables low-income families to make the transition from substandard rental housing to affordable homeownership, and at the same time we help to revitalize older, low-income neighborhoods. Our Habitat homes are built on vacant, in-fill lots in low-income neighborhoods throughout Columbus and Franklin and Licking Counties. Our homes have been carefully designed to accommodate a family’s needs and to blend in with the surrounding houses in the neighborhoods we serve, while at the same time allowing for simple and affordable construction. Our homes are designed to maintain their value, and a new Habitat home provides an asset to the entire community as well as the partner family. We work with local area commissions and civic associations to ensure that each new Habitat home is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
Because Habitat offers zero-interest, no-profit mortgages, we make homeownership affordable for families who do not qualify for conventional mortgages. Every homebuyer family invests a modest down payment and makes monthly mortgage payments that are set at an affordable percentage of household income. And because HFHMO holds every mortgage for the life of the loan, we can continue to work with our partner families and can help to ensure their success as homeowners.
This material is taken from Habitat for Humanity International’s archives. For more information on the housing crisis, including U.S. statistics and research, click here.