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United Way In the News

05

Everyone deserves an opportunity for a better life.  Habitat for Humanity partners with people in our community to help them build or improve a place they can call home.  Working alongside volunteers, Habitat homeowners put in hundreds of “sweat equity” hours as they help build their own homes.  Homeowners then purchase their home and pay an affordable mortgage. 

The self-empowerment created by this opportunity helps homeowner families eliminate barriers to a better, healthier, more financially stable life.  We believe that with a little help, we all have the potential to stand on our own. 

Angela, a single mother, partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build the strength, stability and independence she needs to build a better future for her three children.  The family currently resides in government subsidized housing.  Upon graduation from college and the start of her new job, Angela’s rent increased from $26 to $680 per month.  The increase in rent placed a financial hardship on the family.  Angela works full-time and has done everything right to improve her life, but she still felt a sense of hopelessness because she did not have the income needed to move her family out of government subsidized housing.    Angela’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity has restored hope and empowered her to change the course of her family’s future. 

Likewise, to grow and prosper, Yankton County and the surrounding areas need housing options in a wide range of prices to match income levels.  Habitat’s affordable housing solutions help to meet that need by building and repairing homes in partnership with families living below the area’s median income.   According to affordable housing online 35.77% of Yankton County residents are cost burdened and pay more than 30% of their monthly income for housing.  With a median rent of $578, that means that a family must make at least $1,903 per month in order to stay at 30%. 

Adequate housing makes a positive impact on a family and our local economy.  When housing is affordable, low to moderate income families have money to put nutritious meals on the table, receive necessary medical care and provide for reliable daycare all while increasing their wealth.  The average net worth of a renter is $4800.  That net worth increases to $100,000 for an average Habitat homeowner. Research shows that housing stability has profound effects on effects on childhood development and performance. 

When measuring impact of adequate housing, research shows that the impact is realized within the life of a family and our community.  Since 1996, Habitat for Humanity of Yankton County has served forty-three families through our homeownership program and seven families through our home repair program.  

For more information on Habitat for Humanity, please visit www.habitatclayyankton.org or call 605-260-4224   

By: Julie Dykstra, Executive Director
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