Affordable housing in jeopardy

Urge Rep. Doug LaMalfa and others to protect federal dollars for low-income housing

The author is executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Butte County.

Habitat for Humanity of Butte County is working on two new houses along the 20th Street corridor and we are pleased to be partnering with local families to build these homes. Habitat believes housing is foundational to reducing poverty and achieving lasting economic growth.

We know that decent and affordable housing has tremendous social and economic benefits that affect the health, education and stability of families and communities. In the last 24 years, with the aid of many funding partners, Habitat has built 29 homes in Butte County. No Habitat homeowners have defaulted on their loans, and all have made an important contribution to the economy and quality of life in Chico.

Our organization is deeply concerned about the federal housing fund reductions being proposed in Washington, D.C., and we hope you will join us in working with our elected officials on the local, state and federal level to affirm the value of housing programs that support this funding. This includes the Community Development Block Grant Program, the Home Investment Partnerships Program and the Self Help Homeownership Opportunity Program.

We know that public funds cannot cover the entire cost of building affordable housing. Federal funding received by Habitat for Humanity has supplemented and leveraged the support of our generous donors, volunteers and in-kind contributors. Federal funds have helped to close funding gaps and make it possible to build homes that are affordable. Habitat is a textbook case of how collaborative efforts—from federal dollars to local volunteers—can make a difference in the lives of families and in the health of our community.

Our plan is to build four more houses over the next three years, but we need your help. Please write a letter to Rep. Doug LaMalfa urging the protection of this important funding and let other local leaders know that affordable housing programs are important to our community. And please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to Habitat for Humanity ( Every donation helps build housing. Join us and make a difference!