On May 23, 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 both on a local level, 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 affiliates as well as other organizations locally and nationwide to empower more people to access opportunities for affordable homeownership and help provide the tools they need to build better lives for themselves and their families.
How will this impact us locally?
Macomb County Habitat for Humanity participates in the HOME Investment Partnership Program, notably to fund the build done each year by the Chippewa Valley Schools Construction Trades Program, totaling ten homes since 2007. Without this funding, our efforts would be cut significantly. How significantly? Currently, Macomb Habitat is working on 9 new builds and rehabs, as well as 15-20 neighborhood revitalization projects in Macomb County. If this budget passes, we would only be able to build one house per year. Each house would have to be privately funded from our loyal donors, and it’s likely that our staff would convert from full-time and part-time positions to a small “staff” of volunteers.
Did you know?
Habitat for Humanity is the fifth largest homebuilder in the United States. Studies have shown children of Habitat homeowners are:
- 20% more likely to graduate from high school
- 116% more likely to graduate from college
- 35% less likely to receive welfare
- 33% less likely to become teenage mothers
- 59% more likely to own a home of their own
Investing in Habitat for Humanity means investing in our future. The ripple effect we have in our communities is too significant to not have the sufficient funding.
How can you help?
Macomb County Habitat for Humanity encourages its supporters and all advocates for affordable housing to contact their members of Congress and urge them to support adequate funding for these critical programs in the fiscal year 2018 budget.
Without the proven programs that are now in jeopardy, too many of our neighbors will be denied access to the tools they need, to a hand up that helps them build a better future. 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.