Habitat Sarasota joins over 340 Habitat leaders, homeowners and volunteers in Washington, D.C., to encourage members of Congress to support affordable housing
Renee Snyder, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Sarasota, is in Washington, DC, this week, warning that proposed federal cuts will intensify the affordable housing challenge facing Sarasota and other communities in our region.
"Too many people in Sarasota are already struggling between making their housing payments and buying food for their family," said Snyder. "We are in Washington, DC, to ask our representatives on Capitol Hill to make greater investments in affordable housing, not less."
The budget proposed by the White House this week would drastically cut - and in some cases
entirely eliminate - funding that communities use to finance the development of new affordable homes. Federal HOME funds leveraged with volunteer labor to help build Habitat homes reduces the monthly mortgage payments for Habitat homeowners. This year, Habitat Sarasota leveraged federal HOME funds with individual and corporate gifts to serve 13 Habitat homebuyers. The White House budget proposal would eliminate HOME funds entirely.
In meetings with Congressman Vern Buchanan, Habitat Sarasota is calling on Congress to set aside the flawed budget proposal and instead work to preserve the funding for affordable housing programs.
Average incomes are declining in Sarasota and wage growth is suppressed while housing pricing continue to rise. Nearly 40,000 households in Sarasota County pay more than 50% of their income toward housing.
"In Sarasota, wages have not increased to meet the rise in housing costs. We received 358 applications for Habitat homes in 2017," said Snyder. "There has never been a more important time for the American people to stand up for quality, affordable housing and the federal programs that serve as its backbone. It should be the goal of every housing advocate."
"Finding a solution for affordable housing is on the minds of many of our community leaders, government officials, and corporate executives in Sarasota," said Snyder. "A broader commitment to housing options for working families is crucial to the continued growth and prosperity of Sarasota. Habitat Sarasota is committed to working with our partners to meet this challenge."