BREMERTON — Affordable-housing advocates say The White House’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget request proposes to eliminate funding for programs that further efforts to address the affordable housing crisis in Kitsap County and across the United States.
Proposed cuts include the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the HOME Investment Partnership Program, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. These vital programs allow organizations nationwide to empower more people to access all-too-rare opportunities for affordable homeownership and help provide the tools they need to build better lives for themselves and their families.
Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County issued the following statement in response.
“A lack of affordable housing in Kitsap County has reached a crisis level. Habitat for Humanity, like many other agencies in our community, utilizes federal programs through HUD to leverage private philanthropic donations. Families are not given a hand out but rather a hand up.
“Families will be devastated by the reality of these cuts in Kitsap County. Hundreds of families will see their path out of poverty and into self-sufficiency disappear. More people will become homeless, crime will increase through desperation, illness and addiction will rise as the safety net for Kitsap families disappears.
“Habitat for Humanity of Washington urges its supporters and all advocates for affordable housing to contact their members of Congress and urge them to support adequate funding for these critical programs in the fiscal year 2018 budget.”
— Daryl Daugs, Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County
“There has never been a more important time for the American people to stand up for quality, affordable housing. Decent, affordable housing provides the stability individuals and families need to improve their health and education, enhance their financial growth and security, and strengthen their neighborhoods.
“The proposed program cuts will undermine the future goals of empowering more low-income families with affordable homeownership. These programs are a staple for the 23 Habitat affiliates in Washington that are opening the door to the middle class for our families in poverty through access to home equity. The current administration states that the cuts will help eliminate people from programs. However, the programs Habitat utilizes solves the poverty crisis permanently through the outcome which is homeownership.
“Without the proven programs that are now sadly in jeopardy, too many of our neighbors and fellow citizens will be denied access to the tools they need — to a hand up that helps them build better lives. These tangible, practical and fruitful investments play an important role in furthering the reach of Habitat’s work, and we call upon our elected officials to not lose sight of the effectiveness and significance of these programs in communities large and small as they consider this White House budget request.
“For Habitat for Humanity, this is a moral issue, not simply a budget one. Helping more people build and improve decent places to call home only serves to strengthen the fabric and economies of the cities and towns in which we all live and work.”
— Michone Preston, Habitat for Humanity of Washington State