Fourth-Year Biology and Sociology major
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. After attending two service trips, with a focus on youth empowerment and immigration awareness, and leading my own youth empowerment trip, I truly understood King’s statement and social justice became my passion. This is the purpose of IMPACT: to bring about awareness of social issues through service. I’m so excited to be a site leader for Asheboro this year to spread awareness and fight for affordable housing!!
Why Affordable Housing?
This trip was IMPACT’s very first service trip, and I’m so honored to lead it and strengthen such a strong relationship. Also, the topic of affordable housing is invisible and often ignored. After my own research, I learned so much about this essential puzzle piece in the grand scheme of intersectionality. Those without homes suffer from minimal accessibility to healthcare, safety, education, etc., and are often forgotten, which breaks my heart. I chose this trip to build homes and empower the residents of Asheboro because EVERYONE deserves an equal chance.
I was born in Lebanon and moved to the States when I was 4!
Fourth-Year Psychology major and Human Services minor
When I first came to UGA, I was overwhelmed by the amount and variety of clubs that were offered. However, my boyfriend’s older sister recommended IMPACT, and it seemed to encompass two things I really love: service and intense bonding! When I went on my first trip, I was utterly amazed to see how large of an “impact” our group could create, and it was very interesting to learn about the social justice aspect as well. I can’t wait to foster that kind of education, amazement, and community with this year’s trip to Asheboro!
Why Affordable Housing?
Last year I went on the shelter and resource access trip and learned so much about the difficulties and systemic issues that people who experience homeless face. I feel like affordable housing is another piece to figuring out why these types of issues exist and how we as a society can contribute. Having a home is not only empowering for an individual, but it also permanently addresses so many other issues that currently have temporary solutions such as education and healthcare.
When I visited family in Indonesia 7 or 8 years ago, my cousins, brother, and I tasted cow brain (1/10, would not recommend)!
- Invisible crisis: an issue that isn’t given much attention/isn’t considered a priority by the media, government, and/or other systems
- Subsidized affordable housing: housing that is made to be affordable by nonprofit or government subsidies
- Housing and Urban Development (HUD): oversees and administers public housing and rental-assistance programs that millions of low-income Americans rely on; also provides technical assistance and housing development grants to organizations like Habitat for Humanity
- Naturally occurring affordable housing: housing that is available on the regular market, open to anyone and not subsidized by a government or nonprofit, but which happens to be within the budget of many families
- Area median income (AMI): the median income of all households in a given county or metropolitan region
- Housing Choice Vouchers – (formerly called Section 8) is a program by the federal government, which assists low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent housing in the private market. Form of subsidized housing in which families who qualify (usually by having an income that is 50% or less than the AMI) may be provided with government funding to pay a portion of their rent in standard, market-rate housing
- Rent control — Rent controls are government regulations that mandate specific prices and/or freezes on the cost of rent, as well as other requirements for how landlords must operate
- Shelter: temporary housing available for the homeless over one night or several night
- Habitat for Humanity: a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in approximately 70 countries; Habitat builds strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with families in need of decent and affordable housing. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage
- Intersectionality: the theory that the overlap of various social identities, as race, gender, sexuality, and class, contributes to the specific type of systemic oppression and discrimination experienced by an individual (often used attributively
- Gentrification: the process of repairing and rebuilding homes and businesses in a deteriorating area (such as an urban neighborhood) accompanied by an influx of middle-class or affluent people and that often results in the displacement of earlier, usually poorer residents
Facts about affordable housing:
- A family with one full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States.
- One out of three American families rents their home. For the past decade, homeownership rates have steadily declined, and the number of renters has greatly increased. The supply of rental homes has not come close to keeping up with the growing demand.
- Half of those who rent can’t afford it, and 1 out of 4 spend more than 50% of their income on rent.
- Every 11 seconds, a person is evicted in America.
- Research has found that equipping families with an affordable home frees up resources for healthy food and consistent health care. Being in a stable home also improves children’s educational outcomes, which contributes to lower incarceration rates.
- The fiscal year 2018 budget outline would cut $6.2 billion (a 13.2% reduction) from the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as well as numerous local improvement and anti-poverty programs.
- Urban’s latest study, published in 2012, found that while instances of overt “door-slamming” discrimination had continued to drop, real estate agents and rental housing providers recommend and show fewer available homes and apartments to minorities than equally qualified whites.
What does affordable housing look like in Athens or Georgia?
- The Whole Story: America's housing crisis—How big it is and why you should care: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZmUONxuZIE (3:30)
- More information can be found on the video’s website: http://home.one/#whole_story
- The Contract Documentary Trailer: https://vimeo.com/235481891 (6:21)
- The Disturbing History of the Suburbs (Redlining): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETR9qrVS17g (6:19)
- Habitat For Humanity Wants To Make Affordable Housing Part Of The National Conversation: https://www.fastcompany.com/40403624/habitat-for-humanity-wants-to-make-affordable-housing-part-of-the-national-conversation
- Taking on Class and Racial Discrimination in Housing: http://prospect.org/article/taking-on-class-and-racial-discrimination-housing
- Program to Spur Low-Income Housing Is Keeping Cities Segregated: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/02/us/federal-housing-assistance-urban-racial-divides.html
- ‘Snob zoning’ is racial housing segregation by another name (this focuses on a lot of intersectional aspects, including race, poverty, education, etc.): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/09/25/snob-zoning-is-racial-housing-segregation-by-another-name/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.8939cde49e6e
- The Positive Impacts of Affordable Housing on Health: A Research Summary (This link leads to a pdf that’s kind of long. Feel free to skim it, though definitely read through it if you’re feeling like a rockstar!): https://www.enterprisecommunity.org/download?fid=8265&nid=4141
- The Positive Impacts of Affordable Housing on Education: A Research Summary (This is also long, but skim through the numbered facts!): https://www.enterprisecommunity.org/download?fid=8082&nid=4636
- 7 Ways Affordable Housing Affects Education, Backed by Research (download the report to learn more): https://howhousingmatters.org/articles/7-ways-affordable-housing-affects-education/