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Housing is a basic human need. Nationwide, 9 million low income renter households compete for only 6.2 million rental homes they can afford. Today, hundredes of thousands of people are on waiting lists for rental assistance, which are only getting longer. Furthermore, a particularly tragic result of increased poverty is increased homelessness.
The generally accepted definition of affordability is for a household to pay no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing. Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care.
An estimated 12 million renter and homeowner households now pay more then 50 percent of their annual incomes for housing, and a family with one full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment
Jesus said “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: you shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
Who is our neighbour? Jesus directs us to see our neighbour in anyone in need and in that person to see Christ himself. “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me. Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:35,40)
“Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; When you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?" (Isaiah 58:7)
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- November 8-12, 2012, the Fighting Poverty with Faith mobilization will focus on affordable housing. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
- Speak out about the benefits of homeownership, teaching and reinforcing the basic lessons of financial stewardship develops necessary tools for successfully reaching housing goals.
- Faith communities can educate families on the importance of savings, develop programs that encourage saving on a regular basis, even establish partnerships with financial institutions that make regular saving easy.
- Seek out your local Habitat for Humanity organization to learn what their process is and work to have them come to your community to build new housing. Go to www.habitatforhumanity.org to learn more.
- Volunteer at a local homeless shelter.
- Become more educated about mortgages and loans. Click here to read more at mortgageloan.com.
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