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Ask Congress to support critical affordable housing resources

 

   SHOP Action

 

Our economy could be recovering even faster if a large group of capable, would-be homebuyers had access to credit to buy their first homes. As Habitat for Humanity’s more than 1,400 U.S. affiliates have long proved, many working families that do not qualify for conventional bank mortgages can become successful borrowers and homeowners. Even in the depths of the Great Recession, Habitat homeowners fulfilled their mortgage commitments, often making timely payments more frequently than their higher-income neighbors, thanks to properly sized and structured mortgages. Add your voice to the call to make “right-sized” loans available to everyone who is prepared to be a responsible homeowner.

Recipients

  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative

Contact

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Message

Housing Means Stable Communities - Make it Affordable for All!

Dear [Decision Maker],

Housing means stability. Adequate housing not only helps individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities - it benefits our entire nation.

Federal programs that support work by organizations like Habitat for Humanity increase affordable housing opportunities across the United States and make the dream of homeownership come true for partner families. Unfortunately, that work and those dreams are under threat. As my lawmaker, I ask you to promote stable communities across the country by protecting the funding and flexibility of programs that are meeting affordable housing needs in my community.

Programs like the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) have not only served thousands of families, but they have shown important value to the American taxpayer through their strong private leverage records. Local organizations have built more than 26,000 SHOP-supported affordable homes using the self-help, sweat-equity model that requires families to commit substantial time to constructing their own homes. Further, the SHOP program has leveraged more than $1 billion of private investment in local communities and helped organizations like Habitat address the escalating affordable housing shortage nationwide. The impact has reached far beyond the families directly served; as the nation works toward recovery from the foreclosure crisis, local economies benefit from increased responsible homeownership.

I ask you to protect SHOP as a stand-alone program with adequate funding. While the Senate FY 15 Transportation-HUD (T-HUD) bill ensures a stable future for the SHOP program by maintaining its historic structure separate from the HOME program and by appropriating $10 million, the House version rolls SHOP under HOME which would eliminate it and not guarantee that a single dollar of HUD funding be allocated for SHOP uses. The House FY15 T-HUD bill fails to protect access to SHOP funds for all currently eligible and effective sub-grantees, and putting SHOP within HOME would drastically limit funding uses, such as grantees' ability to purchase foreclosed properties and rehabilitate unproductive spaces.

I know that adequate, affordable housing is critical to the safety, stability, and economic security of individual families - and thus our nation as a whole. That is why I ask for your leadership on these issues to provide strong support for effective federal programs to meet critical housing needs in responsible, effective and proven ways.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]