Watauga County Habitat for Humanity will join hundreds of local Habitat organizations and home affordability advocates Tuesday for Habitat for Humanity’s annual legislative conference, held virtually for the first time: Habitat on the Hill 2021: For home, from home.
The three-day event, normally held in Washington, D.C., gives advocates an opportunity to convene with congressional leaders, address and discuss actionable solutions to the underlying policies and systems that hinder access to housing affordability and rally with one another.
As Habitat, through our national Cost of Home advocacy campaign, deepens our role in addressing the home affordability challenges that have been further exacerbated by COVID-19, Habitat on the Hill will focus heavily on historic and systemic racism in housing policy, and how the pandemic’s economic disparities have created a critical need for immediate and long-term housing relief.
“In some way, 2020 has impacted us all,” said Allison Jennings, Director of Development at Watauga Habitat for Humanity. “However, the past year was particularly hard for many Americans who were already struggling with a growing housing crisis amidst a global pandemic. Through this conference, we hope to affect change that will be felt throughout our community and the nation.”
Watauga Habitat will meet with NC federal policymakers to urge them to invest in housing affordability as part of any future economic recovery and infrastructure measure by prioritizing foreclosure prevention, neighborhood revitalization and housing production for low-income homeowners. These investments are critical for preventing major losses in homeownership and in wealth for communities of color, as well as expanding access to new affordable homes for all.
“Although it has only been a few weeks since newly elected leaders took office, Americans cannot continue to wait for housing solutions,” said Jennings of Watauga Habitat for Humanity. “Our leaders have a job to do. Housing must be a priority for not only our federal policymakers but also at the local and state levels as well.”
Speakers at the conference include john a. powell, director of the Othering and Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley and Yamiche Alcindor, PBS NewsHour White House Correspondent and recipient of the NABJ Journalist of the Year Award.
Each year, Habitat on the Hill is made possible by the support of Habitat for Humanity’s partners. The Home Depot Foundation is returning as this year’s premier sponsor and has sponsored Habitat on the Hill for five years and donated more than $47 million to Habitat for Humanity International, including this year’s contribution of $2 million to help build, repair, or rehabilitate veterans’ homes. To date, The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $350 million in support of veterans in need.
Join the conversation using #HabitatontheHill and #CostOfHome as Habitat works toward its campaign goal to create policies that will allow at least 10 million American families have access to a stable, affordable place to call home.
About Watauga County Habitat
Part of a global, nonprofit housing organization, Watauga Habitat for Humanity works to eliminate barriers to a better, healthier, and more financially stable life by providing homebuyers with a decent and affordable place to call home. Homebuyers partner with Habitat, helping build their own homes alongside volunteers. Habitat offers zero interest mortgages to the homeowners. Since 1987, Watauga Habitat for Humanity has built 29 homes and supported families facing challenges. Now in these exceedingly difficult times, along with committed community partnerships, Watauga Habitat stands ready to offer a hand-up to families needing safe and affordable homes. For more information visit their website at https://www.wataugahabitat.org/home. Watauga County Habitat for Humanity is currently accepting New Homeowner Applications until February 15th, 2021.
About The Home Depot Foundation
The Home Depot Foundation works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap and support communities impacted by natural disasters. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $350 million in veteran causes and improved more than 48,000 veteran homes and facilities in more than 4,500 cities. The Foundation has pledged to invest half of a billion dollars in veteran causes by 2025.