Earlier this year the White House released its full fiscal year 2018 budget request, proposing to eliminate funding for programs that further Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to address the affordable housing crisis in Seattle – King County and across the United States. The proposed cuts include the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the HOME Investment Partnership Program, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. These vital programs allow Habitat organizations nationwide, as well as other organizations, to support more people with to access rare opportunities for affordable homeownership. They help provide the tools individuals need to build better lives for themselves and their families. Habitat for Humanity Seattle – King County encourages its supporters, and all advocates for affordable housing, to contact their members of Congress and urge them to support adequate funding for these critical programs.
Without the proven programs that are now sadly in jeopardy, too many of our neighbors and fellow citizens will be denied access to the tools and a hand up that helps them build better lives. These tangible and fruitful investments play an important role in furthering the reach of Habitat’s work. So we call upon our elected officials to not lose sight of the effectiveness and impact of these programs in communities large and small.
For Habitat for Humanity, this is a moral issue, not simply a budget one. Helping more people build and improve decent places to call home only serves to strengthen the fabric and economies of the cities and towns in which we all live and work.
Statement from Gail Luxenberg, CEO:
There has never been a more important time for Seattleites to stand up for quality, affordable housing. Decent, affordable housing provides the stability individuals and families alike need to improve their health and education, enhance their financial growth and security, and strengthen their neighborhoods.
All of this would not be possible without the strong partnership that Habitat for Humanity Seattle – King County has forged with AmeriCorps. Since 1998, more than 268 AmeriCorps volunteers have served more than 438,600 hours with Habitat SKC and currently 28 of 54 staff at our affiliate are active AmeriCorps members or AmeriCorps Alumni. This program supports members of our society who chose to enter into full time volunteer positions, dedicating over 30 hours every week to the Habitat mission. The amount of time, expertise and labor they donate to Habitat is an unequivocal factor of the reach of and impact we have in King County. The program not only impacts the greater community and serves economically disadvantaged families, but changes the lives of those who serve through volunteer leadership opportunities.
With help from the AmeriCorps program, Habitat SKC has been able to sustain new construction underway in Pacific, WA, building nine single-family homes serving veterans, and will soon start construction in Sammamish, WA. This project in King County’s Eastside has 10 cottage-style homes for low income families for an estimated $180,000-$250,000 each, in an area where the median home price rose 25 percent in one year, to $871,000 this year (MLS). We also offer Homeowner Education, Maintenance, and Financial classes to both Habitat partner families as well as to the public.
In addition to building homes, Habitat for Humanity has added a Neighborhood Revitalization program over the past decade, helping existing low-income homeowners to stay in their homes and improve their neighborhoods, through concentrated Critical Repairs and targeted revitalization projects.
Habitat SKC continues to serve families and empower neighborhoods by bringing the community together. In King County, we have built, repaired, and renovated 452 homes in 17 cities. Those homes are shelter to over 1,600 clients, including 952 children. Support Habitat-SKC, our families and our community by using our postcards to inform your representative of the need for adequate public funding.
These postcards are a great opportunity to engage with representatives and support Habitat’s collective advocacy efforts with Congress. Let’s BUILD LOUDER together!
Step 1: Get your Postcards
Postcards will be available at all of our build sites, our two Habitat Stores, and our office! You can also download the postcards from our website on our advocacy page.
Step 2: Fill out your Postcards
Each person can fill out up to 3 postcards for their Representative and two Senators. Make sure to include your return address! Congressional offices will only process mail if there are return addresses included, to ensure that the mail does come from constituents. Adding a personal statement also makes a huge difference and is more powerful when speaking with members of Congress.
Step 3: Share your postcard and message with the world
If you need some inspiration for personal messages to include with your postcard, take a look at
@BuildLouder on Twitter. Get your friends and family involved by taking a picture of your postcard and adding it to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media accounts. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #BuildLouder and tag your representative!
Step 4: Mail the Postcards
Add postage and send the postcards to the Washington DC office of the U.S. Representatives and Senators that represent you.
Find your representatives at www.govtrack.us/congress/members
Enter your address to find your Representative and 2 Senators.
For more information
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!