York Habitat for Humanity: Need for affordable housing at all-time high

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – York Habitat for Humanity says the need for affordable housing is at an all-time high. Right now, they have 25 applicants. This time last year, they only had five.

“It feels great. I’m planning everything now,” Tonya Hunter, a Habitat homeowner, said.

Owning a home was a goal of Hunter’s for the last several years.

“It’s a lot better than what I’ve lived in before,” Hunter said.

York Habitat for Humanity said wages aren’t keeping up with the cost of living.

“People are coming to us because they’re at the end of their rope,” said Tammi Morris, executive director of York Habitat for Humanity.

Of the 442,000 people living in York County, 10.2 percent live in poverty, according to Morris, which means families working minimum wage jobs are spending anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of their income on housing.

“They’re often faced with the heat or eat dilemma because then that portion that’s left over – that 30 or 40 percent – is what they have to pay for food, utilities, transportation, and clothing,” Morris said.

But with Habitat’s help, homeowners only spend 30 percent of the family’s annual gross income on housing while the remaining 70 percent is left to meet basic needs.

“I think it’s important for York County to ask this question: who needs safe, affordable, housing? The answer is everyone, and you can do something about it,” Morris said.

But with the increasing demand, Habitat needs more donations, more help, and more people to make it happen

“One thing I’m looking forward to is it becoming our comfort zone, our place for our family to have many years, tears, and joy,” Hunter said.

You can help York Habitat for Humanity by visiting their website.

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