May 2, 2024 economics

A novel approach to affordable housing – Habitat for Humanity’s $1 acquisition

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June 10, 2023. Habitat for Humanity helps build and improves homes for families of low-income or disadvantaged backgrounds since 1976.

Picture by: Communications Office | Flickr

Non-profit housing organization Habitat for Humanity is hoping to revolutionize affordable housing in Wake County, North Carolina, USA.

Raleigh City council solda plot of land worth over $650,000 to Habitat for $1 in December 2023, on which the organization plans to build nine townhouses to create affordable housing options, benefiting those who earn 60–80% of the city’s median income.

North Carolina is one of the states most affected by the ongoing US housing crisis, which has been exacerbated by soaring housing costs, stagnant wages, and the pandemic.

The recent tech-boom in the state means that housing organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and local governments are looking for ways to improve affordable housing options.

Habitat for Humanity, an international organization founded in the 1970s on the belief that everyone deserves a decent place to live, has long been at the forefront of addressing housing challenges.

The non-profit’s collaborative approach, working closely with volunteers, donors, and partner families, has proven effective in building homes and revitalizing communities.

Now, with this project in Wake County, set to break ground in 2025, Habitat is taking a bold step to counteract the adverse effects of the housing crisis.

Residents in the tech-dominated Triangle, the second-largest metropolitan area in North Carolina, including the state capital, Raleigh, are grappling with rising housing costs and gentrification.

According to a study by My E-Listing, North Carolina housing prices have surged, outpacing wage growth. The state is ranked tenth for the size of the gap between housing prices and wage growth, experiencing a gap of 22.8% over the last five years.

This alarming trend underscores the pressing need for initiatives addressing the affordability and accessibility of housing in the region.

Habitat has also been working with local authorities to add bus stops in the area and near the housing development. Additionally, prospective buyers may be eligible for up to $45,000 in assistance to facilitate a down payment.

The impact of the project extends beyond the immediate beneficiaries. As Gen Z enters the job and housing markets, the need for innovative solutions to the housing crisis becomes even more critical.

According to a study conducted by Rocket Homes, 86% of Gen Z aspire to own a home and 76% plan to buy in home in the next six years.

Organizations like Habitat recognize this and are making efforts to pave the way for a future where homeownership is not an elusive dream but a realistic goal.

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Abigail Gonzalez Zavala

Contributor

North Carolina, United States

Born in 2006, Abigail (Abby) Gonzalez Zavala is a Mexican-American from North Carolina, passionate about DEIA, intersectionality, economic equity, and theater. She plans to study economics and film after high school to bridge economics and art to enhance arts diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

Abby also advocates for underrepresented voices, she organizes workshops and forums to foster respectful and productive conversations on prevalent topics. Her endeavors in film direction and advocacy intertwine as she channels her energy into amplifying marginalized narratives and challenging disparities.

Through her multifaceted dedication, Abby strives to harmonize the artistic landscape, creating a space where every voice is heard and celebrated!

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Camilla Savelieva

Economics editor

United Kingdom

economics