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More needed for housing

Published: Monday, June 10, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

In support of your view, “Affordable housing still big concern,” from the June 2 Northwest Herald.

The Social IMPACT Research Center estimated that in 2006 there were 35,000 households in McHenry County with annual incomes below $50,000. A maximum affordable mortgage for this group equates to less than $145,000. Only 10 percent of the housing in McHenry County is valued at less than $150,000, meaning that over one-third of McHenry County’s 106,000-plus households cannot afford to buy or own 90 percent of the houses here.

Furthermore, many existing homeowners with annual incomes under $50,000 pay as much as 50 percent of their income for housing. Affordable housing is a problem.

Finally, since the housing collapse of 2007, one-in-40 McHenry County homeowners are in some state of foreclosure, further demonstrating affordable housing as an acute local issue.

Working exclusively in McHenry County, Habitat for Humanity has been providing affordable home ownership opportunities to low- and moderate-income residents for more than 17 years. Habitat’s programs seek to increase the affordable housing inventory in the county, as well as preserving existing affordable housing through several critical repair programs offered to low-income homeowners.

So much more is needed to eradicate poverty housing in McHenry County. Habitat invites you to become involved in this issue to see for yourself how making an investment in neighborhood stability translates into peace of mind for the entire community, especially for those believing in the enduring American dream of home ownership.

Jerry Monica

Executive director, Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County

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