This article is a part of a series called The Advocate. This series will look at ways we at Habitat-SKC are joining the national conversation around affordable housing and supporting legislation that puts decent, accessible housing within everyone’s reach. To follow what we’re doing, you can search The Advocate tag.

“Affordable Housing Week is a time to highlight the current need for affordable housing and advocate for solutions to preserve and create more affordable housing in cities throughout King County.“ –Housing Development Consortium.

 Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County is just one among many organizations coming together during the week of May 15-22, to support the cause of affordable housing. What do we mean when we say affordable housing? The term affordable is defined as less than 30% of a household’s income spent on housing costs. Based on this definition of affordability, approximately 50% of renters in King County cannot afford the average rent for a two bedroom unit, $1,544. Affordable housing is not only a problem for renters, but homeowners too. The price of home ownership skyrockets at a similar rate to the price of rent, making the American dream of home ownership harder to obtain for everyone. Over the last year, King County saw over an 8.7% increase in the median selling price for a single family home not including condos.

March 2017: $560,000 vs. March 2016: $514,975.

As families are forced to spend higher and higher percentages of their income on housing, this starts cutting into other aspects of their life. Tough decisions have to be made as families are forced to prioritize whether to spend money on housing, food, or healthcare. This can have a detrimental impact on the overall health and wellbeing of families, especially children. Safe, affordable, and stable housing is the foundation on which everything else in life depends (stable employment, educational outcomes, health, etc.). With these growing challenges, the work of Habitat and other organizations becomes more essential to the success of our communities. As a testament to the need for affordable housing, in 2016 alone Habitat SKC received over 2,000 inquiries. In that same year, Habitat SKC was able to serve 35 households locally; 13 families moved into their new homes and 22 homes were preserved through critical repairs.

Habitat SKC’s goal for Affordable Housing Week is to engage more people in the community to raise awareness and advocate for affordable housing solutions. Through advocacy, we can amplify our impact and increase access to decent, affordable housing. Affordable Housing Week provides opportunities for everyone in the community to get involved whether you are a city official, an advocate, or an individual seeking resources.

For the complete list of events go to the Housing Consortium’s calendar.

For Affordable Housing Week, we’re looking to involve all kinds of people including those who would like to show support, those who have the capacity to volunteer their time and those who can directly benefit from our services as well as the services of organizations like us. Habitat-SKC would particularly like to highlight:

Other ways to get involved:

  • Register for our next volunteer orientation on Thursday, June 1, 2017 by emailing volunteer@habitatskc.org
  • Contact your legislators to advocate for affordable housing link
  • Sign up to receive Habitat Advocacy updates by emailing advocate@habitatskc.org
  • Join the discussion on social media via hashtags #Homes4AllSKC & #HabitatSKC
  • Share the information in this blog post with others
  • Raise awareness by changing the Affordable Housing Week picture to your Facebook, Instagram or other social media profile pics!

Be a part of the discussion!

 Make sure to check out our partners and the other sponsors involved with Affordable Housing Week as well!

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