The Need is Great: Please Advocate
The need for safe, decent and affordable housing is great, and growing. In Buncombe County twenty-five percent of homeowners who occupy their homes have housing costs that exceed 30% or more of their household income. Housing expenditures that exceed 30% of household income have historically been viewed as an indicator of a housing affordability problem. Of the top 20 most significant occupations in Buncombe County, only two (RNs and General Managers) offer average wages sufficient to afford all Fair Market Rent (FMR) bedroom types, and nine of the most significant occupations are insufficient to afford any of them.
Safe, decent housing is a struggle for many families in Buncombe County, and in Western North Carolina, as the area enjoys nationally-recognized status as a premier retirement community and resort area. This drives the cost of housing to much higher levels than local residents can afford. Wages are considered low as the service industry is the main employer and housing costs in Buncombe County are “high”. The area’s median value for housing is $179,700. A typical Habitat house is sold (at no-profit) to homeowner families for approximately $160,000 by Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.
The housing need in not only Buncombe County, but the entire United States is significant - and growing. According to The State of the Nation’s Housing 2010 (JCHS), roughly one in six Americans is in need of a decent, affordable place to live. And the need doesn’t stop there. Insufficient housing is a global problem. To learn more about the global housing crisis and what you can do to help, visit Habitat for Humanity International’s advocacy page.