One in four households in the U.S. pays more than 30 percent of their income for housing and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing or medical care. In Watauga County, 31.3% of residents live below the poverty level, according to the most recent US Census data. In Watauga County, the Fair Market Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is $872. To afford this level of rent and utilities — without paying more than 30% of income on housing — a household must earn $2,907 monthly or $34,880 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level translates into an hourly Housing Wage of $16.77. On average, a household needs 2 full-time jobs at minimum wage to afford a 2-bedroom apartment in Watauga County.
To address the critical need for affordable housing in our community and across the country, Watauga County ReStore is joining Home is the Key, a national campaign by Habitat for Humanity International aimed at highlighting the critical need for decent, affordable shelter throughout the month of April. A Habitat for Humanity affiliate program, the mission of the ReStore is to provide additional funding to support the affiliate’s house-building goals, expand opportunities to serve a broader base of the low-income community by providing low-cost materials, and divert construction and household materials from landfills and protect the environment.
“We have seen firsthand how an affordable home can play a key role positively influencing education, health and financial opportunities for families and individuals,” said Allison Jennings, director of development at Watauga County Habitat for Humanity. “Decent shelter is something we all need to thrive, and yet many in Watauga County still live in inadequate housing conditions. We invite our community in joining us in April and help us partner with even more homeowners in need of a hand up and a decent place to call home.”
Watauga County Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical housing ministry, founded in 1987 and has built 26 homes in Watauga County for families in need. Watauga County Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operating on principles that seek to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Habitat is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. By shopping, donating and volunteering at your neighborhood Habitat ReStore, you are part of a worldwide movement dedicated to ensuring everyone has a decent place to live.
To learn how to get involved with Watauga County Habitat for Humanity visit http://wataugahabitat.org