ATLANTA (March 26, 2018) – (RealEstateRama) — Habitat for Humanity today praised significant increases in U.S. affordable housing funding for 2018, following more than a year of intense advocacy by the housing nonprofit. The funding bill approved by Congress and signed by the president today not only rejected previously proposed steep cuts, but increased funding in key initiatives that Habitat and other organizations use to expand access to affordable housing.
“We have been fighting this fight for over a year because we see firsthand how these dollars directly improve communities across the nation,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “This bill is a true victory for affordable housing in the United States. This success would not have been possible without the determined advocacy of Habitat supporters across the country who raised their voices on behalf of the millions of Americans who are severely burdened by the cost of housing. We thank Congress for listening, and look forward to working with them to make the right investments in affordable housing in the coming years.”
The 2018 spending package increases funding for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by $4.7 billion compared to 2017, funding the agency at more than $12 billion more than the administration had originally proposed. Programs that Habitat uses to develop affordable housing across the United States — including the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and the HOME Investments Partnerships program — will receive significant funding increases this year.
The measure also improves and increases funding for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by 12.5 percent. The measure increases funding for rural housing development through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and rejects proposed cuts to other housing initiatives, such as the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP). Habitat also supports the bill’s increase in national service funding, which had been slated for elimination in the president’s budget.
However, Habitat is disappointed by the more than $3 billion decrease in funding in the international affairs budget. Habitat works to provide safe, decent and affordable housing in more than 70 countries, and the organization opposed the cuts arguing they are essential in promoting U.S. economic interests, representing U.S. moral leadership, ensuring U.S. national security and reducing poverty and addressing housing needs globally.
About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 1,300 communities throughout the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.