Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity needs your help! The National Low Income Housing Coalition has deemed this week the National Housing Week of Action and Saturday July 29th the official Call in Day. We want to use this day to urge members of congress to increase funding for programs that support affordable housing.Congress needs to hear from us: everyone deserves an affordable place to live!
Habitat for Humanity relies on federal funding to build affordable homes. To continue our mission of building homes, communities, and hope, we need Congress to lift spending caps for this year’s budget and increase investment in HUD development programs. When congressional offices receive multiple phone calls about one issue, they become more aware of the importance of that issue in their district or state.
Please take a few minutes to call members of Congress and to urge them to increase funding for HUD development programs. Here is a link to find the phone number of your representatives in congress. Thank you!
7.17.17 – ACTION ALERT
Use your voice to support Habitat! Recently, the Transportation HUD Appropriation Subcommittee released its funding bill. It includes $200 million in total cuts to HOME and CDBG, funding that is utilized heavily by Habitat. Affiliates across the state are letting Congress know that these programs are important – critical – to our work. You can help too by contacting Senators and State Reps.
Please write to both Senators:
Senator Richard Burr
151 Patton Avenue, Suite 204
Asheville, NC 28801
Senator Thom Tillis
310 New Bern Ave, Suite 122
Raleigh, NC 27601
Write to your Rep (depending on where you live.) FindmyRep
Representative Patrick McHenry (10th District)
160 Midland Avenue
Black Mountain, NC 28711
Representative Mark Meadows (11th District)
200 N Grove Street #90
Hendersonville, NC 28792
HERE ARE TEMPLATE LETTERS FOR YOU TO USE:
Dear (Decision Maker)
I am writing to ask for your leadership to provide strong funding support for HOME.
HOME helps organizations like Habitat for Humanity make decent, affordable housing possible for low-income Americans. Every $1.00 of HOME leverages another $4.00 in other funding. I urge you to support HOME funding at $1 billion in the fiscal year 18 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill so that Habitat for Humanity can continue our work in the field of affordable housing.
Dear (Decision Maker)
I am writing to ask for your leadership in rejecting the current administrations attempts to eliminate or cut CDBG. CDBG is vital to Habitat for Humanity’s mission to provide decent affordable housing to low income families, veterans and the disabled. Every $1.00 of CDBG leverages another $3.55 in other funding and every $1.00 of HOME leverages another $4.00 in other funding. I urge you to stand up for Habitat by supporting 3.3 billion for CDBG in FY2018
When you sign your name, please include your address so they know you are a real person and a registered voter (hopefully everyone is a registered voter!). Thank you!!
About Asheville Habitat Advocacy
Advocacy is defined by Habitat for Humanity as “changing policies and systems to eliminate barriers to adequate, affordable housing in order to create a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” In other words, while not visible like homes themselves, laws, regulations and rules about land and building are a major part of housing. Smart policies and systems can promote access to decent housing, while uninformed policies and systems may create unnecessary barriers, making it harder than it needs to be to find land for construction, build the home itself or be able to afford a place to live. Just like building, advocating for smart policies and systems is a way to create a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
In keeping with the Annual Strategic plan, Asheville Area Habitat’s Board of Directors recently endorsed our new Government Relations and Community Engagement (GRACE) team, currently comprised of four Habitat staff members. The mission of the GRACE team is to advocate for public policies that support Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. By offering our volunteers, donors and homeowners a new way to get involved, we aim to use our numbers to shape public opinion and educate policymakers on issues that promote access to safe, decent, affordable housing.
So far the GRACE team has organized a letter writing campaign urging Congress to vote against eliminating funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service including AmeriCorps. But they are just getting started! If you would like to be involved, you can sign up for our text alerts and/or email lists. These lists will enable us to mobilize our supporters to act quickly on issues that are important to our organization and the people we serve. From your mobile phone, text buildlouder to 51555 to register for text alerts, and/or click here to sign up for our Advocacy email list.
For more information on Habitat for Humanity International’s approach to Advocacy, check out this link.
Affordable Housing Crisis in Asheville
The need for affordable housing is great and growing in Asheville where housing costs (to buy or rent) have returned to pre-recession prices, there is a vacancy rate of less than 1%, and a rapidly growing population. Too many people that work in Asheville, can’t afford to live in Asheville.
Click here to read various essays in the Mountain Xpress that answer the question: “What would it take to solve the Asheville area’s affordable housing problem?” Among them is the opinion of our Executive Director Lew Kraus and another from one of our homeowners, Shannon Kauffman.
Click here to read the Bowen report commissioned by the City of Asheville, as well as the 5 Year Consolidated Plan that identifies needs and priorities for housing and community development activities for the next five years.
Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the country rely on the important work of national service members through programs like AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA. For the past 20 years, these members have helped manage, organize and lead thousands of Habitat volunteers, or support the daily operations of affiliates. If funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is cut as proposed by some in Congress, the capacity of Habitat affiliates to serve partner families would be greatly reduced. Click here to tell Congress to adequately fund CNCS in the fiscal year 16 budget to help Habitat fulfill its mission.