About 30-40 million American homeowners and renters face foreclosure or bankruptcy and loss of housing when protective moratoria expire December 31, studies show. Researchers add that the event would have a significant impact on minority homeowners. The global nonprofit Habitat for Humanity is demanding that Congress return to Washington, D.C., as soon as possible “to take urgent action on housing stability and investment.”
Through its “Cost of Home national advocacy campaign,” Habitat details a set of “immediate priorities,” including mortgage and rental payment assistance, which they say would “stave off a looming eviction and foreclosure crisis,” adding that such an event would disproportionately impact communities of color.
“The American people have been through a lot with the pandemic uprooting any semblance of normal life and a divisive election that has left us all exhausted,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “But we can’t afford to take a break. Millions of families are facing the very real and very dangerous challenge of a future without adequate housing. While we don’t know yet who won every seat, we do know that our current elected leaders still have a job to do.
“We need to come together and focus our energies on a crisis taking place in homes across all of our nation, red and blue, urban and rural. There is no time to waste. It’s time to act now for housing. Policymakers at all levels of government must revive their efforts to both provide immediate housing stability and invest in housing as the foundation to long-term economic and societal recovery. At a time when a safe and decent home has never been more important, millions of American families need action to make the cost of home something we all can afford.”
The nonprofit also is asking new and reelected policymakers at all levels of government to treat housing as a “driver of economic recovery” and as infrastructure. Habitat asks legislators to keep as much in mind as they set their 2021 agendas.
Congress can do so “by including robust funding to build affordable homes, as well as ensuring equitable access to healthy housing and communities of opportunity,” according to a Habitat press release.
Thursday, “525 Habitat for Humanity organizations from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., sent letters to leaders of Congress and the Executive Branch calling for immediate action on urgent housing relief,” according to its press release. “Habitat is committed to continuing its housing advocacy through working with elected officials at all levels of government to find and implement policy solutions that will enable access to affordable homes for 10 million people in the U.S. over the course of the 5-year Cost of Home campaign.”