The White House 2018 Budget:
What does this mean for affordable housing in our community?

Spokane, WA: With Congress back in session, it’s important for us to urge Congress to protect social safety net programs that support affordable homeownership opportunities. Habitat for Humanity’s strategic plan calls on the Habitat advocacy network to “promote policies and systems to increase access to adequate, affordable housing.” Although the economic and social benefits of affordable housing are well-documented, the cost of renting a home is at an all-time high, and homeownership in the U.S. is at its lowest rate in decades. Households and policymakers need leadership and guidance to maximize the benefits of adequate, affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity, with a vast network of nearly 1,400 local affiliates in the U.S. pursuing a common advocacy agenda, has the power to influence meaningful policy change at all levels of government.

Earlier this May 2017, the White House released its full fiscal year 2018 budget request, which proposes to eliminate funding for programs that further Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to address the affordable housing crisis in Spokane County and across the United States. Proposed cuts include the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the HOME Investment Partnership Program, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. These vital programs allow Habitat organizations nationwide, as well as other organizations, to empower more people to access all-too-rare opportunities for affordable homeownership and help provide the tools they need to build better lives for themselves and their families.

Habitat for Humanity-Spokane encourages supporters and all advocates for affordable housing to contact Cathy McMorris Rogers and urge her to support adequate funding for these critical programs in the fiscal year 2018 budget. There has never been a more important time for the American people to stand up for quality, affordable housing. Decent, affordable housing provides the stability individuals and families need to improve their health and education, enhance their financial growth and security, and strengthen their neighborhoods.

Without the proven programs that are now sadly in jeopardy, too many of our neighbors and fellow citizens will be denied access to the tools they need, to a hand up that helps them build better lives. These tangible, practical and fruitful investments play an important role in furthering the reach of Habitat’s work, and we call upon our elected officials to not lose sight of the effectiveness and significance of these programs in communities large and small as they consider this White House budget request.

For Habitat for Humanity, this is a moral issue, not simply a budget one. Helping more people build and improve decent places to call home only serves to strengthen the fabric and economies of the cities and towns in which we all live and work.