Every day in Multnomah County and northern Clackamas County, low-income, hardworking families struggle to find affordable places to live. Rapidly rising rents force these families to live in unsafe, unhealthy, and crowded conditions. These families often have to move once or twice a year in search of rents that stay within their reach. Because of this, children transfer from school to school, affecting their learning and their self-esteem.

The American dream of homeownership is seen as simply unattainable, due to the skyrocketing cost of home prices and little change in incomes of hardworking families.

Our mission of working with the community to build simple, healthy, affordable homes with and for these families has resulted in over 300 families permanently escaping poverty housing. We believe in this mission, because we have seen first-hand how affordable homeownership impacts families, children, and communities.

Families have a chance to experience stability, build equity wealth, and have something tangible to pass on to their children. Children are healthier and safer. They do better in school, have higher self-esteem, and feel more hopeful toward their future. Communities are improved, as homeowners tend to be more active in their communities than renters, and pay into the local tax base.

For specific research data on the impact of homeownership on children, families and the community, we encourage you to download the report “The Private and Social Benefits of Homeownership“, authored by Dr. Haurin, a professor at Ohio State University.

For local information, we invite you to read the Oregon Housing and Community Services Report on Poverty 2006.

Along with your partnership with Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East, we encourage you to get involved with other organizations focused on helping more families find affordable housing.  The following websites contain information about local and statewide housing advocacy:

The Oregon Opportunity Network gives people an opportunity and a foundation from which to build better lives. To succeed in life, everyone needs a place to call home. Community Development Corporations (CDCs) are community-based, nonprofit groups that provide the formal infrastructure and skill to develop affordable housing, engage in economic development, and implement other improvement projects. Using a combination of loans, private investments, philanthropic support, and government funds, the 42 member organizations of Oregon ON have developed over 13,000 units of affordable housing.

The Housing Alliance brings together advocates, local governments, housing authorities, community development corporations, environmentalists, service providers, business interests and all others dedicated to increasing the resources available to meet our housing needs to support a common statewide legislative and policy agenda.

Thank you for caring about simple, healthy, affordable housing in your community!