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The Case for Habitat Homes


Why is Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity's work so important? Because homeownership transforms lives—and it is increasingly out of reach for many.

Learn more through a series of Evidence Briefs created by Habitat for Humanity International.

Evidence Brief 1: Who has access to homeownership?

Housing inventory does not meet demand

In 2018, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated a need for 2.5 million additional housing units to meet long-term housing demand.

How Habitat helps

  • Habitat affiliates expand housing inventory that is affordable to low-and moderate-income households.

  • Habitat advocates at all levels of government for programs and policies that fund and stimulate new development and preservation of affordable housing.


Evidence Brief 2: What are the benefits of homeownership?

Wealth and financial stability

Homeownership is a catalyst to wealth building.
• U.S. homeowners have an average net wealth that is 400% higher than that of renters with similar demographics and earnings, and home equity represents the largest proportion of wealth (34.5%) for U.S. households.
• Each year of homeownership tends to be associated with an additional $9,500 in net wealth, on average.
• In 2019, net wealth was lower for lower-income ($9,300), Black ($24,100), and Hispanic/Latinx households ($36,050) than for higher-income ($1,589,300) and white households ($189,100). Home equity represented a larger share of net wealth for low-income households and Black and Hispanic/Latinx households.

How Habitat helps

  • Habitat partners with families to lower barriers to affordable homeownership.

  • Habitat focuses on working with low- and moderate-income homeowners.


Evidence Brief 3: How does Habitat homeownership contribute to wealth building?

For low-income households

For low-income households and households of color, homeownership can be a catalyst to wealth building—in the right scenario.
Homeownership promotes wealth building by acting as a forced savings mechanism and through home value appreciation.

How Habitat helps

  • Habitat affiliates help homeowners build equity by keeping the cost of homeownership affordable. Habitat is committed to ensuring mortgage payments consume no more than 30% of a homeowner’s income.

  • Habitat affiliates also provide financial education classes and pre- and post-purchase counseling that provide tools and strategies to manage household finances



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