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.
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.