8 Organizations Focused On America's Housing Crisis

For some Americans, the ability to own their own home is a birthright. For others, it can seem like an impossible dream. These groups are working to close the housing gap by providing solutions to those who need safe, affordable places to live. Whether it's constructing housing, providing financing, or offering educational programs, each of these organizations is doing its part to solve the housing crisis, one family at a time. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

8 Organizations Working On The Issue Of Housing In America

Name Headquarters Description
Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, & Jenkintown, PA Coalition dedicated to research and policy changes that will enable all residents of the state to have access to safe and affordable homes
Habitat for Humanity of Orange County Chapel Hill, NC Constructs and rehabilitates homes for low-income families
Housing Authority of the City of Atlanta Atlanta, GA Biggest public housing authority in Georgia, serving more than 50,000 people
DC Housing Finance Agency Washington, D.C. Provides financing and investment for economical rental and ownership opportunities
Urban Edge Roxbury, MA Acquires and renovates buildings for low-cost housing and runs educational programs to aid in the development of financial skills
Homeport Columbus, OH Develops properties, manages rental units, and provides educational courses with the goal of closing the housing gap in Ohio
Illinois Housing Development Authority Chicago, IL Offers home financing solutions for residents of Illinois
Community Housing Network Troy, Detroit, & Mt. Clemens, MI Provides housing and resources for citizens who are homeless, low-income, disabled, or vulnerable, and creates appealing and affordable rental residential communities

The Impact Of Habitat For Humanity In North Carolina

Home Ownership In The United States, By Year

Year Home Ownership Rate
2018 64.8%
2017 64.2%
2016 63.7%
2015 63.8%
2014 64.0%
2013 65.2%
2012 65.4%
2011 66.0%
2010 66.5%

Urban Edge And The Jackson Square Recreation Center

In Depth

Americans spend a large amount of time indoors, often in the comfort of their own homes. Economic and social forces, however, are making affordable rentals and homeownership increasingly seem like a pipe dream, especially in more competitive markets. Fortunately, numerous groups have cropped up to improve access to places to live across the country. If you are interested in learning more about their work, then here are, in no particular order, eight organizations focused on America's housing crisis.

At #1 is the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania. Established in 1985 by a group of activists and advocates, the Alliance is a coalition that works across the state to lead and shape policies that enable all Pennsylvanians, especially those with low incomes, to access safe, secure, and affordable accommodation. To tackle such a multi-faceted problem, the group, which has over 600 individual and organization members, focuses its efforts in a variety of areas, including education, coalition-building, research, and advocacy.

In addition to its work on the ground, the Alliance gathers and disseminates research online. Its website contains a wealth of information, including a collection of fact sheets and its Resource Library, which has the latest research and analysis on affordable housing and community development. It also runs an annual conference called "Homes Within Reach," which is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary in 2019. If you are interested in supporting this group, consider contributing directly, joining a local coalition, or attending "Home Matters Day," its annual advocacy event in Harrisburg.

Its website contains a wealth of information, including a collection of fact sheets and its Resource Library, which has the latest research and analysis on affordable housing and community development.

Coming in at #2 is Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The organization unites people in the community through the process of building homes, and since 1984, it has served over 260 families. With the help of volunteers and donations, it constructs homes for low-income families, selling the houses with no-interest mortgages.

Habitat for Humanity of Orange County also assists existing homes built outside the program with necessary improvements, including exterior painting and the addition of ramps. Beyond this, the local chapter of this nonprofit has teamed up with hundreds of other Habitat affiliates across the United States in the "Cost of Home" advocacy campaign, which seeks to create policies that lead to more affordable housing. Those who wish to support Habitat for Humanity of Orange County can sign up to volunteer or receive its newsletter.

In the #3 spot is the Housing Authority of the City of Atlanta, Georgia. Commonly referred to as Atlanta Housing, the organization administers affordable housing resources, ranging from A.H.-owned residential communities to homeownership opportunities, for roughly 22,000 low-income households. Receiving its funding today from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, A.H. was established in 1938 by the City Council.

Commonly referred to as Atlanta Housing, the organization administers affordable housing resources, ranging from A.H.-owned residential communities to homeownership opportunities, for roughly 22,000 low-income households.

A.H. offers two main types of programs for its clients. The community-based assistance program provides more than ninety apartment complexes across the city for low-income families and individuals, some of which are reserved for seniors; meanwhile, the tenant-based assistance program offers Housing Choice vouchers which can be used at mixed-income facilities. For those at risk of homelessness, A.H. runs a service called HAVEN, which helps more than 2,000 families. If you are interested in learning more about this authority, you can access its bi-monthly newsletter online.

At #4 is DC Housing Finance Agency, based in the District of Columbia. Established in 1979, D.C.H.F.A. is a financial intermediary and administrator of inexpensive housing that works with both developers and homebuyers. Through a variety of programs and resources, the organization offers innovative financing solutions for affordable rental and homeownership opportunities.

For developers, D.C.H.F.A. has a variety of options, like the Multifamily Mortgage Revenue Bond Program, which provides financing for rehabilitation and construction, and the Housing Investing Platform, which focuses on single-family dwellings. People interested in purchasing homes, on the other hand, can avail themselves of resources like the Home Purchase Assistance Program, for first-time buyers, and DC Open Doors, for assistance with closing costs and down payments. If you want to learn more about D.C.H.F.A., consider attending one of its many events or seminars.

People interested in purchasing homes, on the other hand, can avail themselves of resources like the Home Purchase Assistance Program, for first-time buyers, and DC Open Doors, for assistance with closing costs and down payments.

At #5 is Urban Edge. Located in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Urban Edge aims to strengthen families and communities by building low-cost accommodation. The organization was founded in 1974 by Ron Hafer, a proponent of "urban homesteading," the process of acquiring and renovating abandoned and condemned buildings and then re-selling them. Today, the nonprofit continues this practice, while also offering a wide variety of classes and learning programs.

Some of Urban Edge's educational efforts include its Credit Counseling Boot Camp, a three-hour intensive course on the essentials of credit, and its Strong Start Program, launched in 2013 to develop literacy skills for pre-K students. It also has a course for first-time homebuyers and opportunities for pre- and post-purchase counseling. Those who wish to support Urban Edge can donate directly, select the organization as their designated charity on AmazonSmile, or volunteer in a variety of roles.

Coming in at #6 is Homeport, based in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1987, this non-profit developer is dedicated to closing the housing gap for low-to-moderate income people in the area. Under the tenets of dignity, security, and opportunity, Homeport works to strengthen communities not only by supplying affordable housing, but also by providing long-term support that promotes health and stability for its clients.

Under the tenets of dignity, security, and opportunity, Homeport works to strengthen communities not only by supplying affordable housing, but also by providing long-term support that promotes health and stability for its clients.

Since its founding, the organization has contributed to the development, sale, or preservation of more than 4,000 units around Central Ohio. As of 2019, Homeport manages thirty-six different developments and runs numerous educational courses, with topics like Financial Fitness and Home Readiness and Homebuyer Education. If you are interested in learning more about this nonprofit or supporting its aims, you can reach out to schedule a tour of its properties, or you can sponsor a fundraiser in your office, like the Ugly Sweater Challenge.

In the #7 spot is the Illinois Housing Development Authority, created by the state legislature in 1967. A self-described "bank with a public mission," I.H.D.A. connects residents of Illinois with financing programs for their homes with the goal of creating and preserving affordable housing units in the state. To date, the Authority has provided more than eighteen billion dollars in finance for more than 250,000 homes.

For potential homeowners, I.H.D.A. has a range of services, like its streamlined Access Mortgage program, which provides loans at fixed rates, and financial literacy resources and pre-purchase counseling. It also operates in other areas, focusing on community building with its revitalization and repair programs and its foreclosure prevention programs. Those who wish to find out more about I.H.D.A. can find information on its website about public meetings and hearings or check its Twitter account for the latest happenings.

Those who wish to find out more about I.H.D.A. can find information on its website about public meetings and hearings or check its Twitter account for the latest happenings.

Last but not least, at #8, is Community Housing Network. Serving the Southeast Michigan area, the nonprofit is dedicated to providing accommodation to the homeless, people with disabilities, and anyone going through a housing crisis. CHN has a wide range of approaches to its mission, from housing assistance and development to homelessness prevention and community education.

At the heart of the nonprofit is its Housing Resource Center, a free service that connects callers to community resources and programs and affordable housing options. Each year, it receives over 22,000 calls. CHN also runs a Financial Capabilities and Self-Sufficiency Workshop series and the Independent Living Club for people with disabilities. If you are interested in supporting CHN's work, consider contributing to its Critical Needs Fund or participating in the "Adopt A Family" program around the holidays.