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Advocacy

"Affordable housing" is often a difficult topic to discuss. While the concept is simple, the reality is not. In Massachusetts, one in seven households spend half or more of their income on housing. A family needs to earn $73,890 annually to afford fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Bay State. It's just unreasonable.

With the rising cost of lumber and other building supplies, we need your help. Talk to area legislators. Advocate for Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity.

At Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) our goals are to increase homeownership and housing affordability, create more housing at a time when we are facing an affordable housing shortage, help close the racial wealth gap that exists in our community, and provide home repair assistance to low-income families in order for them to live and age safely in their homes. GSHFH typically builds two to three houses over the course of a year in Hampden County. In the past year, we have been challenged by a number of issues, including:

  •  an expanding gap between wages and housing costs. Statewide, the numbers show wage increases and housing cost increases have tracked together from 2014-2019, but in our experience that is not the case in Hampden County. 

  • pandemic job losses. The population we serve is still recovering. Many are just now getting back on their feet, financially, and many will face the consequences of the economic upheaval for a few more years (increased debt, arrearages to clear, etc.).  Without stable and steady income, low-income families are simply not in a position to qualify for homeownership, even with an affordable housing program like ours.

  • rising materials and labor costs. All construction materials and subcontracted labor that is not donated, we need to purchase.
    Without federal funding and grants, GSHFH would struggle to have enough funds for any home construction and home repair projects.

This is where we need your help. Familiarize yourself with the federal programs that matter to Greater Springfield Habitat and let your legislators know we need their support.

Click on the flyers to see more.

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Or, reach out to President Biden and encourage his administration to negotiate a new, long-term softwood lumber agreement with Canada. Or, join the Cost of Home initiative to ensure 10 million people have access to an affordable home. To learn more, click on the links below.

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS

Rep Brian Ashe (D-East Longmeadow, Hampden, Longmeadow, Monson)
Brian.Ashe@mahouse.gov
(413) 754-4184 district office
(617) 722-2430 state house

Rep Nicholas Boldyga (D-Agawam)
Nicholas.Boldyga@mahouse.gov
(413) 569-3137 district office
(617) 722-2810 state house


Rep Patricia Duffy (D-Holyoke) 
Patricia.Duffy@mahouse.gov
(617) 722-2800 x7312
state house


Rep Michael J. Finn (D-Chicopee, Springfield, West Springfield)
Michael.Finn@mahouse.gov
(413) 363-1965 district office
(617) 626-0189 state house


Sen Anne Gobi (D-Brimfield, Holland, Monson, Palmer, Springfield, Wales)
Anne.Gobi@masenate.gov
(413) 324-3082 district office
(617) 722-1540 state house


Sen Adam Gomez (D-Chicopee, Springfield, West Springfield)
Adam.Gomez@masenate.gov
(617) 722-1660 state house

Sen Adam Hinds (D-Blandford, Chester)
Adam.Hinds@masenate.gov
(413) 344-4561 district office
(617) 722-1625 state house


Sen Eric P. Lesser (D-Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Hampden, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Springfield, Wilbraham)
Eric.Lesser@masenate.gov
(413) 526-6501 district office
(617) 722-1291 state house

Rep Jacob Oliveira (D-Chicopee, Ludlow, Springfield)
Jacob.Oliveira@mahouse.gov
(413) 206-6524 district office
(617) 722-2800 x7317 state house

Rep Angelo Puppolo, Jr. (D-East Longmeadow, Springfield, Wilbraham)
Angelo.Puppolo@mahouse.gov
(413) 596-4333 district office
(617) 722-2006 state house


Rep Orlando Ramos (D-Chicopee, Springfield)
Orlando.Ramos@mahouse.gov
(413) 271-7955 district office

Sen John Velis (D-Tolland, Granville, Southwick, Agawam, Russell, Westfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, Montgomery)
John.Velis@masenate.gov
(617) 722-1415
state house

Rep Joseph F. Wagner (D-Chicopee)
Joseph.Wagner@mahouse.gov
(413) 592-7857 district office
(617) 722-2783 state house


Rep Bud L. Williams (D-Springfield)
Bud.Williams@mahouse.gov
(413) 316-4743 district office
(617) 722-2304 state house

US Sen Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts)
(413) 785-4610 district office
(617) 565-8519 Boston
(202) 224-2742 Washington, DC


US Rep Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts)
(413) 785-0325 district office
(202) 225-5601 Washington, DC

US Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts)
(413) 788-2690 district office
(617) 565-3170 Boston
(202) 224-4543 Washington, DC

 

REACH OUT TO PRESIDENT BIDEN

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced it's doubling the tariff on Canadian softwood lumber. Habitat affiliates have experienced a steady rise in lumber costs and this decision by the administration is likely to make this dynamic more challenging. While these higher tariffs on Canadian lumber are meant to protect U.S. lumber producers, it will have the unintended consequence of negatively impacting the bottom line of housing producers nationwide, including Habitat affiliates.

High lumber prices are adding thousands of dollars to the cost of building new single-family homes at a time when affordable housing developers are already contending with increased land and construction costs. This is unsustainable and could result in less homes being built, which will further exacerbate the housing affordability crisis.

Our ability to increase the affordable homeownership supply hinges on addressing high lumber and building material prices, so thank you for making your voice heard on this issue.

To reach out to President Biden and encourage his administration to negotiate a new, long-term softwood lumber agreement with Canada, go to https://bit.ly/3Eny3dw

 

PARTICIPATE IN AN ONLINE ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN: COST OF HOME

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Cost of Home is a five-year advocacy campaign through which local Habitat organizations, partners, volunteers and community members across the country are working together so that 10 million people have access to an affordable home.

Cost of Home has already helped more than 1.5 million people access decent housing through our advocacy to influence policies at the local, state and federal level. But we haven’t reached our goal — yet. That’s why we need you to join us