Habitat Huron Valley in Washington to protest proposed budget cuts

Employees of Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley are in Washington, D.C. the week of Feb. 12 to protest federal cuts the organization said would worsen a housing crisis being felt across the country.(

ANN ARBOR, MI – Supporters of the local Habitat for Humanity are in Washington, D.C., to protest proposed budget cuts they say would worsen a housing crisis being felt across the country.

The national organization known as Habitat for Humanity has sent more than 300 officials, homeowners and volunteers to the nation’s capital this week to oppose a White House budget that would eliminates funds for the Home Investment Partnerships Program.

Some of those supporters are from the Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley, 170 Aprill Drive, a nonprofit organization that serves Washtenaw County.

According to a statement, Habitat Huron Valley is able to build or renovate around 19 houses each year because of the Home Investment Partnerships Program.

"The budget proposed by the White House this week would drastically cut–and in some cases entirely eliminate–funding that communities use to finance the development of new affordable homes," the statement said.

The 2019 budget proposal, available through the White House websites, notes an $8.8 billion or 18.3 percent decrease in funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development compared to 2017.

"The Budget reflects the President’s commitment to fiscal responsibility by reforming programs to encourage the dignity of work and self-sufficiency while supporting critical functions that provide assistance to vulnerable households," the budget proposal said.

In addition to protesting the budget proposals, Habitat supporters are advocating for their organization and calling for Congress to prioritize solutions to end what they describe as an "affordable housing crisis."

Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford said in a statement that there is no question the country is facing a troubling housing situation with more than 18 million families using half of their income to pay for a place to live.

"Leaders in cities and towns across the country are sounding the alarm, because even middle-class workers like teachers can no longer find housing that fits their budgets," Reckford said in the statement. "We will make sure those voices are heard in Washington this week as we meet with members of Congress."

Habitat Huron Valley was established in 1989 and offers home improvement, home ownership, community development and education programs for county residents.

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