Through faith in action, Austin Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build HOMES, COMMUNITIES and HOPE.
Help us reach these goals and fight the affordability crisis by donating to Amplify Austin so we can continue to build HOMES, COMMUNITIES and HOPE.
Did you know? Austin Habitat homeowners pay a down payment and 30-year mortgage to own their home. They also put in 300 hours of "sweat equity" and undergo 28 hours of homebuyer education and financial counseling to prepare them for home ownership. Affordable and decent housing is crucial to better health, educational attainment, financial security - and thereby a thriving economy. It is truly a hand up, not a hand out.
Austin Habitat not only builds and sells new homes, we repair existing homes to help seniors, the disabled and veterans keep their homes and improve their quality of life. We also offer housing counseling and foreclosure mitigation to the public. And don't forget our ReStore, where you can find new and gently used home improvement materials. The Austin Habitat ReStore was the first in the country and has saved over 17 million tons of waste from Austin's landfills. Donations and purchases at the ReStore help us build 7 homes each year!
Help us BUILD A BETTER AUSTIN!
Affordable homeownership offers significant long-term economic, social and financial benefits for both low-income homeowners directly impacted and the broader community in which they reside. Homeownership raises the educational achievement of children, improves health, reduces crime, decreases dependency on public assistance, encourages greater civic engagement and generates significant economic activity.
Safe and stable homes are the foundation of successful families and communities. But owning a home is not possible for many of our neighbors. More than 25 percent of the city's workforce earns less than $13.50 an hour. About 36 percent of Austin residents earn less than $45,550 a year, or 60 percent of Median Family Income. As poverty increases, housing costs soar. In the past ten years, the median value of a single-family home has increased nearly 90 percent to $240,000. The average monthly rent for a 3 bedroom apartment is $1160. Only 35 percent of renter households can afford such rents without being cost-burdened.
That's a lot of numbers, but the truth is the affordable housing crisis in our community causes many families to live in overcrowded, deteriorating apartments in crime-ridden neighborhoods. Most of these families are spending the majority of their income on housing, and have little money remaining to pay for other basic necessities, such as food, healthcare, and clothing. Loss of a job or any unexpected expenses, such as a high medical bill, could mean an inability to make rent, forcing families to live in unstable transitional housing or worse...on the streets.
In addition, the homes low income homeowners were able to afford 10 or 20 years ago are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. Of all the homeowners in Texas, as many as 21 percent are low income residents with extremely high costs. A third of the low income homeowners have paid off their mortgages, but still pay more than 35 percent of their income on property taxes alone. This leaves little money for other basic necessities and most often no money at all for home repairs. Years of deferred maintenance cause communities to deteriorate into squalor.
"It shows real faith in humanity when complete strangers become builders, not just of homes, but of new lives."- Austin Habitat Homeowner