Advocate for Affordable Housing

Morris Habitat for Humanity works to increase support for safe, affordable housing in Morris County and throughout New Jersey with an emphasis on affordable home ownership opportunities. We monitor local and state policies related to housing, community development, and nonprofit organizations.

In 2019, our policy priorities are:

1. We will work with municipalities to increase access to affordable housing options through the following activities:

  • Demand for Affordable Homes / Production. We will pursue opportunities for municipally sponsored affordable housing development.
  • Build strong relationships with government and community leaders to influence policies, budgets and systems that advance access to adequate, affordable housing.
  • Focus on importance of home ownership in family wealth creation and stabilizing communities.
  • Advance Housing Policies to Move NJ Forward: We will work to advocate for the ‘Thriving New Jersey’ campaign through the Housing & Community Development Network.
  • Develop and promote #CostofHome advocacy campaign. Our focus in 2019 will be on the awareness of the housing cost burden to live in Morris County.

2. Collaborate to create and preserve sources of sustainable funding for affordable housing

Morris Habitat supports the preservation and expansion of resources for affordable housing along the housing continuum with an emphasis on affordable home ownership.

At the local and state levels, these resources include federal programs granted through local and state jurisdictions such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investments Partnership programs.   These programs help to ensure that safe, affordable housing options are available in Morris County.

Continue to provide support of affordable housing programs nationally. Critical to the success of Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout New Jersey, we will advocate for funding and the continuation of the programs throughout New Jersey to ensure that vital service programs continue to receive the support they deserve.

  1. HOME Investment Partnership & CDBG Programs (HOME and CDBG)
  2. Self- Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP)
  3. Capacity Building program (Section 4)
  4. Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps; Vista; NCCC)

Continue to support the Housing & Community Development Network’s ‘Thriving New Jersey’ campaign- To build homes we can afford and revitalize the communities in NJ where we work and live with an investment of $600M/yr. to help our economy get on track.

Support the Governor’s FY2020 budget recommendation to STOP diverting the Affordable Housing Trust Funds (funded through a portion of the Realty Transfer Fee, for its legal purpose – the creation of affordable homes for lower income residents) from the production of more affordable homes.

3. Inspire action to end poverty housing

  • Support Habitat for Humanity International’s advocacy on federal and international policies that help to develop more affordable housing and to eliminate poverty housing around the world.
  • Support Habitat for Humanity International’s Solid Ground global advocacy campaignto change land policy and systems to ensure that more people around the globe can have a decent home.
  • Encourage global impact through Global Village and Jimmy & Rosalyn Carter Work Projects
  • Lead or attend at least 1 GV trip/year

4. Support market approaches that increase products, services and financing for affordable housing

5. Increase organizational capacity by expanding network of advocates

  • Use our brand to build a strong, common, collective voice on advocacy issues to strengthen our impact in Morris County.
  • Educate and Inform Board and Staff on advocacy issues
  • Assume a stronger and more visible role in influencing public policy development for affordable housing
  • Use monitoring and evaluating programs to help focus our activities and allow MHfH to understand and communicate our progress to a variety of audiences.

Take action now – Your voice matters!

1. Save HUD funding.
Call, write, or visit your member of Congress today. Tell them that Congress has an important opportunity to make a difference in supporting low income families. They can provide affordable housing and homeownership opportunities through sound policies, access to mortgage capital and smart tax reform.
A. Tax Reform
Ask them to ensure that tax reform does not undermine access to adequate affordable housing or nonprofits’ ability to meet critical human needs.
B. Funding for federal programs
Ask them to support FY18 appropriation requests for the following programs that enable Habitat for Humanity and other organizations to extend homeownership opportunities.

  • Fund the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) at $15 million in the FY18 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill.
  • Fund HOME at $1 billion in the FY18 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill.
  • Fund the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) at $1.1 billion in the FY 18 Labor-HHS appropriations bill.

2. Volunteer to help Build a Thriving New Jersey.
Work to get your municipal, county and state legislators to endorse the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey’s campaign. If we build homes we can afford, and revitalize the communities where we work and live, we can Build a Thriving New Jersey. Our families, friends and neighbors are the heart of our state and the backbone of our economy. If we can’t afford to live here, we can’t get our economy back on track.

Advocacy activities

  • Habitat on the Hill – February
  • HCDN-NJ Legislative Day – June
  • Hammer for Change event – elected officials kick off for #CostofHome campaign
  • Education and information of staff, board, volunteers, supporters – June 12, 2019
  • Mobilization of supporters to change certain housing policies