Why should anyone have to choose between paying rent and putting food on the table?
Too often, people are forced to sacrifice necessities – nutritious meals, quality medical care, convenient transportation, even gainful employment – just to put a roof over their heads.
The “generally accepted definition of affordability is for a household to pay no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing.” Those that pay more are considered “cost burdened” and have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care.
Research from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) shows how American renters are being squeezed, with fully half experiencing cost burden and one out every four facing severe ostc burden (paying over 50% of their income on rent). The percentages are growing as the affordability gap widens.
These households are vulnerable to unexpected costs (e.g. medical expenses or car repairs) or loss of income (e.g. reduced work hours) that can in turn cause them to fall behind in rent and face eviction. It’s a vicious cycle of instability that undermines any opportunity for these families to achieve positive economic, education, and health outcomes.
"I am so appreciative of Mike – he's made such a difference in my life! Mike hired me when I needed work and helped me start my own business. I never thought anyone would care enough to help me the way he has. He always tells me, ‘You can do it!’”- Helen Green, Owner, Essential Painting