Affordable? Look To Habitat For Humanity to Walk The Walk, Talk The Talk

a group of young people erecting plywood walls of a house
habitat_for_humanity photo by Wake Forest University School of Law is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Economic reality may force Habitat for Humanity to modify its world-wide success as a charitable home builder. One thing will surely remain constant, though. Its heart is in the right place.

Once upon a time we believed that the purpose of a definition of ‘affordable housing’ was clarity. We realize now that these days, the purpose is really confusion. The greater the number of definitions of affordability that can weasel their way into acceptance, the better the chance for one special housing interest or another to bag limited government funding. Sharks rush to join a feeding frenzy. Out of chaos, opportunity!

For a sample of our confusion on this matter, try: Here’s Where We Cry ‘Uncle’ On The Meaning of ‘Affordable’.

In that article, we emitted a faint squawk, no doubt inaudible to anyone who matters, in favour of a firm return to a previous universal standard: housing which costs no more than 30% of an individual or family income.

This was and is, needless to say, a near hopeless effort to stuff the horse back into the barn and redirect technical definitions of affordability back towards the most vulnerable low-and-no income citizens.

Recently, however we came across a another useful definition of affordable housing expressed by a Habitat for Humanity official. In our view, it is one of the more compelling spiritual, humanitarian and community-oriented definition of affordable housing we’ve encountered.

Read about it in the Baltimore Sun: Our View: Define Affordable Housing, Then Work On Bringing Some To Carroll