Housing continues to be one of the most pressing problems facing families today. According to the St. Louis Housing Authority, there are over 5,000 people on the Section 8 waiting list, so many that the list has been closed for nearly a year.
In the past five years, there's been a 60% increase in families paying more than half of their income on housing, far beyond acceptable standards for housing costs vs. income. Many people caught in poverty are the "working poor." An extremely low-income family making 25 percent of the area's median income can afford monthly rent of no more than $500 while the fair market rent for a two-bedroom unit is $780. That means that a minimum wage worker, making $7.25 per hour, must work more than 90 hours per week to afford that two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent.
Many families fall through the cracks and spiral downward, sometimes into desperate situations. Inadequate housing sets off a domino effect, leading to a multitude of problems including school and work absenteeism and insufficient healthcare. It's no wonder that 1,000 families apply every year to Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis in an attempt to rectify a very basic need... a home.
Join Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis, Habitat for Humanity International, and thousands of other housing advocates around the world in our fight to eliminate substandard housing in this city, in this country, and globally. Remember, your opinion counts! Visit the HFHI Take Action wepage for more information on how to be an advocate.