Advocate for Affordable Housing

Advocacy means calling on someone with power to take action on behalf of a cause. Taking action to shape public housing policies means becoming informed about housing issues, calling and writing elected officials and, of course, voting.

Morris Habitat supports broad-based and practical policy solutions that offer the best chance of producing and preserving the largest number of affordable homes. We challenge governments, faith communities, corporations and volunteers to raise their voices and their hammers in support of increased access to decent, affordable housing here and around the globe.

Take action now on our current advocacy efforts!

Morris Habitat’s 2017 Advocacy Agenda

1. Use the opportunity of the recent New Jersey Supreme Court rulings on municipal compliance with the Mt. Laurel doctrine to 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 homeownership in family wealth creation and stabilizing communities.
  • Advance housing policies to move New Jersey forward: We will work to advocate for the Build a Thriving New Jersey campaign through the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey.

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

  • Continue to provide support for federal affordable housing programs, which are critical to the success of Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout New Jersey. These resources include HUD programs granted through local and state jurisdictions. We will advocate for funding and for continuation of the programs to ensure that vital services continue to receive the support they deserve.
    • Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG)
    • HOME Investment Partnerships program
    • Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP)
    • Capacity Building program (Section 4)
    • Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps, Vista & NCCC).
  • Endorse and support the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey’s Build a Thriving New Jersey campaign: To build homes we can afford and revitalize the communities in New Jersey where we work and live with an investment of $600 million a year to help our economy get on track.

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 campaign to change land policy and systems to ensure that more people around the globe can have a decent home.
  • Encourage global impact through Global Village volunteer trips and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Projects.
  • Lead at least one Global Village trip per year with an average of 15 participants.

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 Morris Habitat 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 Morris Habitat 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