I’ve never been on public assistance. I’ve been at the same job 13 years. There have been times I’ve had two jobs. There’s just no way I would be able to get ahead enough to become a homeowner without programs like Habitat for Humanity.
Tanisha isn’t alone. Far too many of our neighbors are priced out of homeownership at current rates—over 75% according to National Association of Homebuilders—and things are much more challenging for Black prospective buyers.
In fact, Black households in Tacoma have seen a decrease in homeownership over the past twenty years, and just 33% of buyers in Tacoma are Black. These bleak figures reinforce what I have known for years. But I learned it from people rather than data. I learned it from hearing about lived experiences and from understanding the profile of most Habitat homebuyers.
People like Tanisha. A single mother who works in the insurance industry, Tanisha has lived in the Pacific Northwest her entire life. She grew up with housing instability. Having a sense of place and owning a home has been a dream as long as she can remember.
“We kept moving to be able to afford rent,” Tanisha shares. “You lose your friends when you change schools. I want my daughter to have the stability I didn’t have.”
Tanisha has lived what the statistics show: hard work and longevity in a job are not enough to spring into homeownership in today’s world. Tanisha recently received a raise, but it still wasn’t enough to afford a traditional mortgage. Skyrocketing rental rates make it difficult to afford essentials like groceries, gas and medical care much less save for a down payment.
For Tanisha and so many others, the only way the dream of homeownership is accessible is with a hand-up from someone like you. With your year-end gift to Tacoma Habitat—no matter the size—you are a dream maker.
Young Tanisha could only dream of stability of place. Today, Tanisha is her own wildest dream come true. Since applying to our homeownership program, Tanisha has been matched with a home funded in part by Habitat for Humanity International’s Advancing Black Homeownership Initiative.
Homeownership can change the trajectory of a family for generations, not only offering stability but unlocking the potential to build generational wealth. All it takes is a hand-up from someone who believes in possibilities and opportunity. All it takes is you.
This holiday season, I invite you to join me in this life-changing, dream-making work. With your special year-end gift, Habitat homeowners have the opportunity to own a home they built themselves. It’s an amazing gift of empowerment, and it’s yours to give.
Thank you for being an ally in this important work.