Nationwide, housing costs are skyrocketing as more families lack access to a safe, affordable, and decent place to call home. Here in Florida, 1 in 6 households pay half or more of their income on housing. 

Alongside hundreds of local Habitat organizations and affordable housing advocates, Habitat Lake-Sumter met with Rep. Daniel Webster, Rep. Mike Waltz, Rep. Cory Mills, Rep. Kat Cammack, Sen. Rick Scott, and Sen. Marco Rubio to urge action and prioritization of policies that will increase the number of affordable homes, especially for homeownership.

Congress can respond to this need by supporting vital housing and community development programs in 2025 and through the passage of the bipartisan Neighborhood Homes Investment Act.

Several federal solutions can help increase the number of affordable homes nationwide. In Lake & Sumter Counties, opportunities include programs like the Community Development Block Grant, USDA Section 502 Direct Loans, and the USDA Housing Preservation Grant.

Each of these successful programs helps Habitat construct, preserve, and finance more affordable homes. At a time when the supply of affordable homes in the U.S. is at such a low, we need to ensure we continue funding cost-effective and successful programs like these.

Shenika, a Habitat homebuyer, joined Habitat Lake-Sumter at these Capitol Hill meetings to share her family’s journey to homeownership. The demand for affordable, safe, and healthy homes far exceeds the available supply, causing many families to face extremely difficult choices between housing and other basic needs like food, healthcare, and childcare. Shenika’s story is the story of millions of Americans who make impossible choices every day.  

Federal funding is vital to Habitat projects and leverages a significant return on investment through private support. Advocacy plays a key role in ensuring access and opportunity to affordable housing for families in our community, now and in the future.

 

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