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The Reason for the Season

Woman holding small present with red bow wrapped around it

Statistically, the end of the year is when people are more apt to give.

While there are endless charities for thousands and thousands of causes, there are few that remedy the housing crisis- a burgeoning threat that affects not only lower-income households but also households that fall within the median-income range.

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, over 10.9 million Americans spend over half of their income on housing. Another disparaging fact is that in lieu of Americans spending money on housing, lower-rent apartments (which would help mitigate the figure above) are few and far between.

Vacancy Rates for Moderate and lower quality rentals graph

According to the published review from Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, “Only the federal government has the scope and resources to provide housing assistance at a scale appropriate to need”.

While a blanket solution is the most viable one to remedy the problem, the possibility of seeing this come to fruition is virtually unattainable… After all, it is approaching Christmastime and the only fiduciary response to the Coronavirus from the government was a $1200 stimulus check that was meant to last Americans nearly 7 months (and counting).

To put this in perspective:

“In 2018, there were 6 million more cost-burdened renters than in 2001 and the cost-burdened share was nearly 7 percentage points higher. Meanwhile, 10.9 million renters—or one in four—spent more than half their incomes on housing in 2018. After several years of modest declines, the number of severely burdened households increased in 2018, by 155,000, reducing the total improvement since the 2014 peak to just 483,000. Some 72 percent of renters earning less than $15,000 annually were severely burdened, along with 43 percent of those earning $15,000–29,999.

And this figure is only growing. Families dependent on lower rent options are not finding them- vacancies for these places are low, as more and more higher-income families are renting now. What are the options that can help close the gap?

As stated before, charities are a great way to help. The holiday season is abundant with options- Equity & Help has donated land to End Poverty Now, a charity that “has devoted its energy to passionately advocating for the hungry, needy and politically under-represented members of our global family”. We have also donated land to the Redevelopment Commission in New Bern. Other options include the National Alliance to End Homelessness- a charity that has been around since 1983 and has made it their mission to change policy regarding solutions to close the gap at a federal level. They strive to educate at the federal level and have had successes at the local level.

Another option: investing in real estate. While it may seem like an unorthodox method during the holidays (when everything is heavily charity-driven) there are very few places like Equity & Help that are philanthropy-driven, and yet, can still give the gift of legacy to the investor. At Equity & Help, everyone wins.

Our mission is to give hard-working families a home where they can enjoy the holidays (as everyone deserves to) as well give our investors a great return on their investments PLUS the satisfaction of goodwill- that is the reason for the season, after all.

Family sitting by the Christmas tree opening gifts

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