Earlier this year, Habitat SKC asked all of our supporters to join the national “Build Louder!” Campaign and show our Congressional representatives how important Habitat’s work is to our community. The campaign took place throughout the months of July, August and September and asked for explicit support of funding for programs central to Habitat’s work such as the HOME Investment Partnership Program, the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and national service programs such as AmeriCorps. Now, we’ve wrapped up our campaign and are sharing the results with you!
We had 190+ supporters participate in reaching out to Congress in support of Habitat’s work and vision.
We sent out 550+ postcards and out of the 10 Congressional districts in the state of Washington, Habitat supporters came from 7 different districts, which is an incredible amount of coverage and representation!
Some of the great things that were said in support of Habitat include:
“Homeownership improves neighborhoods and strengthens communities: families are 28% more likely to repair or improve their homes, and live 4x longer in a community!”
“Homeownership is good for the economy: Habitat families can use equity to move into a market rate home and focus their income towards healthier food, education and better healthcare.”
“Homeownership builds successful opportunities for children, and breaks the cycle of intergenerational poverty. An investment in affordable housing is an investment in our future.”
“Rep. Smith, as you know these programs are gateways to affordable housing for hard working people with low income. Please continue supporting them.”
“Housing is as important as healthcare. Please fight for longterm housing solutions.”
“These programs bring stability to many people’s lives. We care for our community!”
“The AmeriCorps program creates jobs – Builds skills and supports non-profits!”
We received great feedback from our Congressional Representatives responded to our campaign efforts. In particular, Rep. Suzane Delbene stated her support of Habitat for Humanity’s work in a letter, writing
“As you know, Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit that does important work building homes for low-income families across the country and around the globe, including those experiencing homelessness as a result of political conflicts or natural disasters. Since its founding, the organization has helped more than four million people around the world by building or repairing over 800,000 homes. Their work in the United States is aided by federal investments in critical affordable housing programs that help families stay out of poverty and keep a roof over their head, including Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). Additionally, federal funding for national services programs through the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), such as AmeriCorps, offers vital assistance to the work done by Habitat for Humanity in local communities nationwide.
Like you, I strongly support efforts to protect and strengthen federal investments in affordable housing programs, including those that support Habitat for Humanity. I believe it is unacceptable that hundreds of thousands of Americans lack access to safe, affordable housing. That’s why I’ve joined my colleagues in urging the House Appropriations Committee to provide robust funding in 2018 for programs such as CDBG, McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) and AmeriCorps to address housing instability across the country – helping lift families out of poverty and expanding access to opportunity for all. I have also had the opportunity to partner with our local Habitat for Humanity to build homes in Skagit County as part of their Women Build Week in 2015 . Ensuring all families have a roof over their head remains one of my top priorities, and as a member of the House Budget Committee, I am committed to working on a bipartisan budget that helps provide families certainty and stability through strategic investments. As Congress continues to move through the budget and appropriations process for 2018, I will be sure to consider our shared views on this important issue.”
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Build Louder! Campaign and engaged their Congressional Senators and Representatives in the conversation around affordable housing! If you’d like to stay engaged or are looking for other ways to become active in Habitat’s advocacy efforts, check out our Advocacy page for a variety of ways to use your civic power.