Why is Homeward Bound
focused on affordable housing?
Imagine, if you will, having to choose between paying rent or buying food or even medicine for your family. This is a decision thousands of Americans face each month, especially thouse who struggle to pay for housing with rental or mortgage rates that exceed 30 percent of their household income.
Fact is, in the U.S. in 2020, more than 1 in 7 households paid more than half their income toward rent or martgage payments. By 2025, it is expected that this number will rise to more than 13 million. And many of these households are in Indiana, right here in La Porte County.
Homeward Bound believes-and data shows- there is a lack of affordable housing here in La Porte County, and we want to make a difference, starting with our Karwick Village community.
When we speak about the need for affordable housing, we are speaking about things that are happening right here in our community.
Is it difficult to find affordable housing in
La Porte County?
For many of us, our homes are something we take for granted, especially those who are fortunate to have been in one place for a long time. When you're not in the market for housing, you simply don't realize how difficult it can be for families to find affordable housing.
Yet the lack of affordable housing is impacting families across the country, including here in La Porte County.
Why is there a shortage of affordable housing in
La Porte County?
First, there's an overall shortage of available apartment rental units, which has impacted residents. In addition, officials in the City of La Porte have put pressure on landlords to bring existing apartments up to code, and with renovations, these units may be priced out of range for many residents.
In Michigan City, many apartments have been eliminated to make way for the new South Shore Rail Road expansion. This means dozens, if not hundreds, of units, have been closed or are now out of reach price-wise, with residents displaced.
Add to all of this, rent and housing prices continue to climb, making it difficult, if not impossible, for many to find affordable living options.
Does affordable housing mean low-income housing?
To be clear, the phrase "affordable housing" takes on a variety of meanings. Homeward Bound's Karwick Village is a cooperative living community of member residents who will pay rent to live in the village.
The goal is to offer quality housing for residents that falls within the guideline of no more than 30 percent of the household income.
This 30 percent is a fairly standard guideline for any homeowner or renter; it is commonly advised to not exceed this amount when budgeting for housing. This is something to which we can all relate.
It is the same when we speak about affordable housing--the challenge is that rents are rising, along, with other goods, and salaries are not keeping up at the same pace. This means families have to pay more than 30 percent of their income towards housing.
By paying more for housing, families may be forced to do without other necessities, such as food or medicine. Worry about rent increases adds to a sense of instability and stress.