our area's need
why housing matters
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh recognizes that the need for affordable housing in the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny county is great. We know that with a little help, we all have the potential to stand on our own. Decent, affordable homeownership allows families to lead better, healthier, more financially stable lives. Strong, stable homes help build strong and stable communities.
Pittsburgh has been referred to as one of America’s “most livable cities.” But who is Pittsburgh the most livable for? Habitat Pittsburgh recognizes that many families in our region are struggling with the rising costs of rent, and often feel their living conditions are unfit for their families. Habitat Pittsburgh is here to help make the greater Pittsburgh area livable for all.
The lack of decent, affordable homes has forced tens of thousands of local, limited-income families to pay well over 30% of their monthly income on housing. Half of those earning 30-80% of the Area Median Income are cost burdened by their housing, meaning over 30% of their income is spent on housing.
Someone working at minimum wage
a modest, one-bedroom apartment.
must work over
hours a week to afford
Income-restricted housing has helped to alleviate the need for affordable housing in the greater Pittsburgh area; however the supply does not meet the demand. While some income-restricted housing maintains those restrictions indefinitely, the affordability of others may expire if no action is taken. Nearly 2,000 income-restricted units in Pittsburgh are at risk of losing affordability before 2020.
As a result of this housing situation, some families must live in substandard conditions or make difficult tradeoffs. More than half of all adults have made at least one tradeoff in the past three years to cover their rent or mortgage. Many families must take on an additional job or hours at work, stop retirement savings, accumulate credit card debt, or cut back on health care.
With a little help, we all have the potential to stand on our own. Homeownership helps to break cycles of poverty, and allows families to invest in their futures. 90% of Habitat for Humanity Homeowners say that they could not have owned a home without help from Habitat.
Decent, affordable homeownership provides the foundation for a better future. Homeownership leads to improved health and improved school performance in children. Families owning homes are less likely to rely on government assistance and are able to build net family wealth.
Decent, affordable housing benefits not only the homeowner, but also the surrounding community. Safe homes and neighborhoods are the foundation to secure communities and schools. Transforming blight into beautiful homes strengthens the pride residents have in their neighborhood.
Adequate housing is vital to the well being of our economy. Neighborhoods strengthened by decent homes attract economic investment and development. Reduced vacancy and increased tax base creates an economic stimulus which positively impacts community stabilization.
1. Housing Needs Assessment (The City of Pittsburgh Affordable Housing Task Force)
2. Building Inclusive Communities (Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania)
3. Out of Reach 2018 (National Low Income Housing Coalition)
4. How Housing Matters (MacArthur Foundation)
5. Beneficial Impacts of Homeownership (Habitat for Humanity International)
How do racial inequities limit homeownership opportunities? (Habitat for Humanity International)
Evidence Brief: What are the benefits of homeownership? (Habitat for Humanity International)
How to Address Blight in Pittsburgh – and Statewide (Wayne Fontana, 2022)
The State of the Nation's Housing 2022 (Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University)
The Economic State of Black America 2021 (McKinsey Insights)
Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2014 (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)
2018 State of Affordable Housing (Habitat for Humanity International)
Unequal Access to Credit: The Hidden Impact of Credit Constraints (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
Market Snapshot: First-time Homebuyers (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)