Affordable & Fair Housing
We invite you to join Journey of Faith in helping to change lives in our community.
Today in America, there are only 12 counties where a full-time worker on minimum wage can afford a one-bedroom apartment. Safe, decent, affordable housing is one of the key foundations of opportunity, but it is out of reach for far too many families.
Want to do something about access to affordable housing?: Students do better. Patients are healthier. People can more readily escape poverty and homelessness. The economy is healthier. And our nation is more just and equal, when all Americans have access to safe, stable, affordable homes.
There are some things that can be done almost right away while sustainable solutions require more resources, time and effort:
The more enduring path to making housing more affordable and fair – is to fix the systemic problems that cause it: social inequalities of income, wealth, and opportunity, and the failures of the social safety net.
The more short-term approach is prevention or intervention: Working with people experiencing crises before they show up at the shelter door, for example. Providing assistance to help cover move-in costs and security deposits, as well as, ongoing rent and/or utility payments.
Connecting participants to community-based resources (rapid re-housing case management and services) – that can help people maintain housing stability by addressing psycho-social challenges and finding ways to increase their incomes.
What to do next?: Explore the activities below that may align with your gifts and passions. And, yes we need you!
o If you want to immediately begin working to help stabilize a housing crisis or meet an emergency housing-related need — here are some practical and easy ways you can get started:
Serve as a congregational resource: Provide advocacy, support, information, and access to resources appropriate to the needs of the “housing insecure” individuals and families in our community.
Keep abreast of local, state and national housing efforts, legislature and policies around the issue of affordable housing to help change the conditions that make people vulnerable to future homelessness and create long-term affordability.
Provide updates to congregational members about housing initiatives, inspiring stories, and ways to help.
Spread awareness: Identify the specific problem that you want to help solve. Get the facts and do your research: you don’t have to be an expert, but should know enough about the problem to serve as a resource. Make an effort to understand all sides of the issue, and all arguments, pro and con.
Advocate: Our nation needs more teachers to stand up and say that good affordable housing helps their students thrive. More doctors and nurses are familiar with how affordable housing “vaccinates” a patient from certain health hazards. Businesses understand how affordable housing in a community or neighborhood can stimulate growth and helps people climb out of poverty. Criminal justice reformers have seen how good affordable housing enables solid transitions and prevents recidivism.
The broader the movement, the better the chances of achieving real policy change.
Share stories: Have you ever had to choose between buying groceries or paying your rent? Maybe you haven’t experienced this personally, but chances are you know someone who has. Real stories about real people can help inform the public and community leaders. Share your story about what’s happening to you or your family, or about someone you know.
Prioritize housing: Suggest an organization you’re affiliated with consider prioritizing affordable housing policies as one of its’ key concerns and interest (if it hasn’t done so already). While affordable housing efforts are primarily focused on federal housing policies, its helpful to see non-housing organizations at the state and local levels explicitly include “affordable housing for low-income households” in their mission statements, stated priorities, policy or ministry agendas.
Most importantly, it’s likely in an organization’s own self-interest, given the deep intersectionality between housing and virtually all aspects of opportunity, may help an organization advance and achieve its own goals. Non-housing organizations resolving to explicitly prioritize affordable housing for low-income people helps make the case why this issue is so important for families and our communities. The goal is to bring new voices into the housing space and broaden the movement beyond housing advocates alone.
Know your rights and your responsibilities as a tenant: If you rent an apartment, home, condo, or other unit — you should be aware of your rights as a renter under local and state laws. In the most basic terms, your landlord is obligated to keep your home in good repair and in compliance with all housing codes. It is also important to remember that you have certain responsibilities as a tenant.
Share information: Housing units in Ann Arbor (1) and Ypsilanti (2) and home ownership program for low-income families.
Join a coalition: Find allies who can help you accomplish your goal. Identify stakeholder organizations: what are they doing that is relevant to your goal? Identify people who share your passion for accomplishing your goal. Join or forge a coalition to unite around a common goal. Include grassroots efforts to build out constituent engagement and work with people who are directly impacted by the social problem.
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"We believe that Christ dwells in each and every person, a reminder of our individual dignity and belovedness and of our personal call to be Jesus' hands and feet in the world, healing the broken and fighting for justice." —Pastor Alex McCauslin
Phone: 734.971.4245 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org