March 8-15 is International Womens Build Week, and Habitat of Humanity of Champaign County is joining other Habitat chapters and Lowe’s to “raise awareness of the global need for safe and affordable housing for women.” From their press release:
Women have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, from job loss to evictions and foreclosures. According to The National Women’s Law Center, 80 percent of U.S. jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic were held by women. The United Nations (UN) has reported that 40 percent of all employed women globally work in the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the unprecedented challenges women are facing, women remain on the frontlines of the pandemic as essential workers, as caretakers within their households, and too often have to make the difficult decision between maintaining a place to call home and paying for food, health care, childcare, education or reliable transportation. Harvard University’s State of the Nation’s Housing 2020 report revealed that 37.1 million U.S. households spent more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing in 2019, including 17.6 million spending more than 50 percent. The effects of the pandemic have further highlighted the need for safe and affordable housing, as 29 percent of renters and 36 percent of homeowners experienced employment income loss between March and September of 2020.
Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County is currently building with Breshauna Huff, a hard-working single mother of two who is excited for the opportunities that home ownership will create for her family. “The fact that we will have stability, and we won’t have to move from house to house…It will be a weight off my shoulders,” Breshauna said.
This story is not unique. Every day, millions of women face the challenge of a future without adequate, stable housing. This issue underscores the importance of Habitat and Lowe’s efforts to bring awareness to the issue, as well as a partnership focused on ensuring that more women have access to affordable housing.
Top photo from Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County Facebook page.