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Community Needs Adequate Housing

Essay by   •  February 22, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,438 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,122 Views

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Why do I want to assist my community in obtaining safe, decent, and affordable housing? Because safe, decent, and affordable housing will help empower communities and promote a healthy living environment. When I was a child, the community in which I lived played a strong role in my development and provided a strong foundation for nurturing. My community taught me to be kind to others, to respect my fellow man, to care about my neighbors, and to always be willing to lend a helping hand to those who may be less fortunate. It was the breed of community where everyone knew every person and contributed to the upbringing of each one who lived there. My friends lived near and we each attended the neighborhood school, shopped at the neighborhood store and worshipped in the neighborhood church. Each of these elements fostered a strong sense of unity. This environment produced a tightly knit community that contributed to society instead of taking. This was an environment in which everyone flourished, child and adult alike.

In today's neighborhoods, no one talks to each other. We rarely hear the word "community" used when describing our neighborhoods, and isolation is the pursuit of everyone living in the area. The neighborhoods have deteriorated to the point of fear for safety, and "in Metropolitan Atlanta today, ...homelessness is an issue" (United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, 2005). Communities of my past are almost non-existent, except possibly in the far-reaching suburbs, and I am compelled to give back by helping the setting my childhood community return and not settle for what exist today.

In my opinion, a major contributory factor to today's living environment is inadequate housing. Adequate housing is suitable, safe, affordable housing. Proper housing is a key component in revitalizing our neighborhoods and "the single most powerful tool a family can use to improve their quality of life" (Bush, 2002, p. 1). Homeownership provides a sense of community belonging. It "[...] strengthens and stabilizes neighborhoods while building a sense of community." (Bush, 2002, p. 1) By providing aid toward home ownership, I will help revitalize the community and add to the quality of life, thus, "killing two birds with one stone."

Homeownership gives community roots. When an individual owns his or her own home (instead of renting), he or she is more interested in how the community looks, safety in the area, and even the neighbors. Renting lends to the feeling of temporary resident, but ownership gives a feeling of permanence and stability.

[...]a man who owns his own home acquires with it a new dignity. He begins to take pride in what is his own, and pride in conserving and improving it for his children. He becomes a more steadfast and concerned citizen of his community. He becomes more self-confident and self-reliant. The mere act of becoming a homeowner transforms him. (Senator Charles Percy, 1966, 2725B)

Families that own their homes are more involved in the local community and tend to support during local events. (Rohe, W. R. & Stewart, L. S., 2004, p. 9) "According to a 1986 nationwide survey by the National Association of Realtors, "homeowners [are] more likely than comparable renters to volunteer time to community and religious organizations, to attend public hearings and to vote in national elections, to join community improvement groups, and to participate in voluntary organizations." (Chambers, D.N. & Schwartz, M. B., 1989) This sparks a catalyst for growth and unity among us and provides a hope for taking part in the American Dream. Is that not what America was built for? President George W. Bush (2002) defined homeownership as:

An objective as in a goal or ambition, with the intent of having the safety, security, and ability to have a better life through the purchase of a home. A successful plan to buy a home coincidentally enables the purchasers to improve the prospects for success for their children, while also accumulating wealth which may be used for retirement or left in an estate for the family. (p. 1)

Homeownership also brings financial rewards and provides a foundation for financial security. It gives hope. Families would begin to plan futures and transformation of entire communities would occur providing an enormous social and economic benefit for all.

I want my community the way it was in the past - strong, vibrant, loving, nurturing, and as one. I want to see neighborhoods reach its utmost potentials. "...several studies have found evidence that homeownership is positively associated with higher levels of neighboring." (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1995, ΒΆ 2) It is my goal to promote the development of healthy, spirited communities by assisting low to moderate-income families in becoming homeowners.

Housing is one of the greatest needs today, and "affordable housing is a dilemma for many communities. Increasing the production of new housing and the rehabilitation of existing homes is central to increasing homeownership." (Bush, 2002, p. 20) I take pleasure in researching properties. I enjoy rehabbing them for others by applying finishing touches on each as if it were my own, all while increasing its value and charm. It is my dream to leave a legacy of homes populated by people who want to be a part of the American Dream. Thus, this is my way of demonstrating that I care and am



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