top of page

The Case for Habitat Homes

Lakeshore habitat's positive impact on children


the impact of lakeshore habitat for humanity

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


Evidence Brief 4: How do racial inequities limit homeownership opportunities?


Black and Hispanic/Latino households face unique barriers to homeownership that prevent access to the beneficial outcomes associated with homeownership, such as wealth building, improved health and higher educational attainment. Historically, structural and institutional obstacles faced by racial and ethnic minorities compounded over time to produce these inequities.


Evidence Brief 5:  How does housing impact health?


This evidence brief summarizes research on key factors to improving health through housing in populations with low incomes. It also highlights the key barriers that Black and Hispanic/Latino populations confront in improving health. Plus, it illustrates how the work of Habitat for Humanity contributes to positive health outcomes.

Evidence Brief 6: How does housing affect children’s education?


The location and condition of a child’s house plays a significant role in their physical, cognitive and emotional development and well-being, which impacts their education through improved attendance, better cognitive and behavioral health, and improved academic achievement. Making direct connections between housing and its impact on children’s education is challenging. However, studies have drawn a pathway between owning a decent, affordable and stable home and experiencing positive educational outcomes.

This evidence brief:

  • Summarizes research on critical factors for improving children’s educational outcomes by helping populations with low incomes obtain decent, affordable and stable housing.

  • Highlights the key barriers that Black and Hispanic/Latino populations face in improving children’s educational outcomes.

  • Demonstrates how Habitat for Humanity contributes to strengthening children’s educational outcomes.


Evidence Brief 7: How does homeownership contribute to social and civic engagement?


People with low incomes have generally been less civically engaged than the population at large. Because of this, they have less political and social influence and less ability to advocate for policies and issues affecting them. Homeownership motivates increased civic engagement regardless of income level, so increasing opportunities for homeownership among people with low incomes will increase their political and social involvement.

This evidence brief:

  • Summarizes research on housing-related factors that support social and civic engagement in populations with low incomes.

  • Highlights factors that affect social and civic engagement among Black and Hispanic/Latino populations.

  • Illustrates how the work of Habitat for Humanity contributes to social and civic engagement.


Get involved with habitat for humanity

Get to Know Lakeshore Habitat

Join our email list to receive powerful stories about Habitat homeowners, our current builds, the latest events, and ways you can make an impact.

bottom of page