Affordable housing refers to the provision of housing and shelter as a basic human right, including housing for the homeless and for those of low income. Affordable housing occurs only in nations that can support such projects or in locales that have substantial foreign aid. Affordable housing is a range of both subsidized and nonsubsidized housing designed for those whose low or moderate incomes make them unable to purchase or rent housing on the open market. The provision of affordable housing-where the homeowner or renter spends no more than 30 percent of their gross income on housing including utilities-reduces the financial burden of housing costs and provides opportunities for people to move out of poverty.
Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care. An estimated 12 million renter and homeowner households now pay more than 50 percent of their annual incomes for 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. Affordable housing is particularly important for these families.
LaCasa can provide affordable housing to families with low to moderate income. LaCasa provides training opportunities, counseling, saving account guidance, mortgage loans, and special loans called Help-A-House or a low cost rehab loan. The training opportunities include homeownership and financial capabilities classes which can help a person understand the home buying process, make wise consumer choices, avoid predatory lenders, and other pitfalls related to homeownership. LaCasa provides unique counselors which will help with unique needs such as: reviewing and repairing credit, preparation and guidance, and can help to prevent foreclosure if a mortgage is in trouble. Information is provided about savings accounts and different ways to help save for a house, education, or starting and expanding a small business. LaCasa can also provide mortgage loans for first time homebuyers. Lastly, LaCasa will help to fix your own home with Help-A-House or with a low cost rehab loan. All of these education based services are given to the people of Elkhart County. These services help to provide affordable housing for all people.