Be an Informed Voter this November… because #AffordableHousingMatters

At Habitat Metro Denver, we are strongly encouraging our supporters to be ready to vote this year!

Click here to register to VOTE.

It is always important to be an informed voter, but maybe never more so than in 2020. Between the pandemic, economic uncertainty, natural disasters, and public demonstrations (to name a few), this has been anything but a typical year.

So many hardworking families in our community were already stretched thin and living paycheck to paycheck before COVID. This year has been especially tough on them as they are feeling the effects of the pandemic in ways most of us could not imagine. Living in substandard, overcrowded and unstable housing creates a far greater risk of contracting the virus, along with other chronic illnesses.

In a few short weeks, many of us will cast our ballots to choose leaders for our local, state and federal governments. As we weigh our options, housing must be a part of the conversation.

The need for more resources, access, and opportunity to create and preserve affordable housing has never been greater. Here are seven findings on the persistent impact of COVID-19 on economic stability and housing affordability across the United States.

1. Nearly one-third of people can’t afford all of their needs.
In April, 31% of adults reported that their families could not pay their rent, mortgage or utility bills, were food insecure, or went without medical care as a result of financial hardship.
2. COVID-19 isn’t affecting all communities equally.
Just as the virus is disproportionately harming the health of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color, it’s also undermining their economic stability at a disproportionate rate. In June 2020, Blacks posted the highest unemployment rate of 15.4%, compared to 14.5% for Latinx, 13.8% for Asians and 10.1% for whites.
3. Families are struggling to make rent both fully and on time.
In June 2020, 20% of households did not pay any rent by the first of the month. By June 20, 12% of those households were able to put money toward rent—but this also includes families who only made partial payments.
4. The number of borrowers who have deferred payments on their home loans has climbed.
In the week ending July 12, the total number of loans in forbearance was 7.8%. For the week of March 2, only 0.25% of all loans were in forbearance.
5. Mortgage lenders continue to tighten lending standards.
The Mortgage Credit Availability Index, an indicator of lending availability, fell by 3.3% in June, its lowest level since April 2014. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, making it more difficult for individuals to access sound lines of credit for homeownership.
6. Builders of multifamily homes report construction delays.
53% of firms are experiencing construction delays, with 85% of these firms reporting the delays due to permitting and 37% indicating delays due to construction moratorium. It remains unknown how these delays will impact the total units that should be completed in 2020, and how the costly delays might impact the pricing of such units once they are completed.
7. The future remains uncertain.
As of late July, 35% of surveyed adults still expected themselves or someone in their household to lose their job within the next month. At the same time, 15% of homeowners and 35% of renters reported that they feared they wouldn’t be able to make next month’s mortgage or rental payment.

Your vote matters for home affordability. Help make the #CostOfHome something we all can afford by encouraging others in your family, workplace and community to vote with you on Nov. 3. #Elections2020 #AffordableHousingMatters

Click here to let your legislators know that