Cornerstone Housing Inc.

  

  A 501c3 non profit committed to Affordable Housing

The Journey : Homelessness


When a Child Has a Home


Homeless Children - What If


Our Mission


Cornerstone Housing Inc. Our purpose is to build new and rehabilitate rental housing to accommodate low-income, homeless, and the less fortunate individuals of Florida. To also supply social services and counseling that will enable them to achieve the greatest social and economic independence at the lowest cost to society. Talk to us : Contact Us

 

Our Vision


Cornerstone Housing Inc. is working to create more humane communities in which we work, where these communities are healthy and all people can develop their God given, full potential. We believe that affordable housing and support programs improve the economic status of residents, transform neighborhoods and stabilize lives. We strongly believe that: HOPE BEGINS WITH HOUSING

The Lack of Affordable Housing!


There is no state in this United States where a minimum wage worker working full time can afford a one-bedroom apartment at the fair market rent. In Florida, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two- bedroom apartment is $1,038. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities, without paying more than 30% of income on housing, a household must earn $3,374 monthly or $40,488 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year this level of income translates into an hourly Housing Wage of: $19.47.

97

Work Hours per Week at Minimum Wage is Needed to afford a 2-Bedroom Unit at Fair Market Rent

2.4

Number of Full-Time Jobs at Minimum Wage Needed To Afford a 2- Bedroom Unit at Fair Market Rent Many renters earn far less than the Housing Wage in their community and struggle to find an affordable place to live. The report “Out of Reach” compiled by The National Low Income Housing Coalition highlights some of the economic challenges facing low income renters, including lagging wages, inconsistent job growth, and the rising cost of living. Undoubtedly, the lack of affordable housing REMAINS THE LARGEST PROBLEM FOR LOW INCOME households, a problem made worse by these economic challenges.


Expanding and preserving the supply of quality, affordable housing is essential to any strategy to end homelessness, poverty, and economic inequality. As our nation’s policymakers seek ways of overcoming these social ills, access to affordable housing must be a cornerstone of any proposal. A safe, stable affordable place to live keeps families healthy, helps people find and keep jobs and helps kids come to school ready to learn. A home keeps families stable and connected. Our states and our nation will be better off when we take steps to end homelessness where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. By prioritizing and investing in affordable housing, we can work to ensure that those who are at risk of homelessness are better protected from becoming homeless.

The Future of Affordable Housing


The need for affordable housing continues to grow, particularly the need for housing affordable to the lowest income people. Nationwide, there are only 31 units of housing affordable and available for every 100 extremely low income Americans. Federal housing assistance only serves one quarter of those who qualify for it. And special populations, such as disabled veterans returning from combat or lower income seniors, are increasing in number and need. At the same time, the existing stock of affordable rental housing is disappearing due to deterioration and the exit of private owners from the affordable housing market.


According to the National Housing Trust, our nation loses two affordable apartments each year for every one created. Local preservation efforts have seen success, and resources like the National Housing Preservation Database are helpful, but it is a race against time. Finally, the very funding structure of most affordable housing programs puts them at risk, at both the federal and local levels. The majority of federal housing programs are appropriated, meaning that the funding amounts can change from year to year, or disappear altogether. State and local programs can be similarly volatile, because they are often dependent on revenue from fees or other market-driven sources, and are vulnerable to being swept into non-housing uses. Ensuring funding at amounts necessary to maintain programs at their current level of service, much less grow them, is a constant battle. Our country’s current struggle with budget deficits is not a reason to defer actions to improve Americans’ access to adequate housing. Rather, it is precisely in this time of ongoing economic hardship that the need to do so is most acute, and a rights based approach to budgeting decisions would help generate the will to protect peoples's basic human dignity first, rather than regulating it to the status of an optional policy.  

The Affects of Homelesssness



Scattered Site Housing

For more than 25 years, "scattered-site" housing has been widely promoted as an alternative to the large, dense public and assisted housing developments that too often concentrated poor families in socially isolated and profoundly dehumanizing environments. Scattered- Site Housing fills an important vacuum in our understanding of this crucial segment of the HUD-assisted housing stock. Tenants in scattered site housing feel welcome in their new homes and prefer their new neighborhoods, where they expect their children to benefit from safer surroundings and better access to quality schools.


Successful scattered-site housing includes careful tenant screening, small-scale development patterns, good design, and attractive buildings that "promote individual pride and care of property. The persistence of concerns over poverty concentration and quality of life that originally led to the wide spread use of scattered-site housing makes it certain that this development model will continue.

Economic Impact of Development Strategies

Access to affordable housing and services is the solution to homelessness and the plan to end and prevent homelessness equals creating jobs in the community. Money starts to filter into a community before any noticeable construction activity. Planning professionals, attorneys, engineers, architects and designers are commissioned to develop preliminary designs.


Financial models are prepared and land is acquired. Redevelopment plans are presented and local businesses strategize for their position in a growing economy. There is an increase in construction related jobs that are available to local workers, thereby increasing wages. There are local permit fees, impact fees, utility fees, and transfer taxes.


Job openings are available in landscaping, trucking and transportation. There are on - site improvements such as road and sidewalk work, as well as sewer and water systems infrastructure. There are also marketing, financing, and realtor costs that bring money to the local economy. The financial impact of construction is far reaching and felt by a variety of businesses including financial institutions, and educational, systems and services. Local businesses and trades also increase in volume of delivery services.

ALICE - Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed


What is ALICE? ALICE is a United Way acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed . “Employed” is the critical word. This updated spring report that revealed that almost half (44%) of our neighbors struggle to make ends meet. In fact, 49 percent of renters pay more than 35 percent of their household income on rent. ALICE represents those who work hard, but due to high costs and factors often beyond their control must live paycheck to paycheck. For many of them, a small emergency can quickly become a major financial crisis. Car repairs and health care emergencies, to name just a few, can plunge these working families over the edge into financial chaos and HOMELESSNESS.


The Report adds greater depth to our understanding of the people in our communities who live each day one crisis away from falling into poverty. We all depend on and meet ALICE every day behind cash registers, fixing our cars, serving us in restaurants and stores, and caring for our young and our elderly, among many others. Despite working, often at more than one job, ALICE earns too little for a sustainable lifestyle. No matter how hard these individuals work, an ever-increasing number are not making it and their kids, your neighbors, and our communities will pay the price in the long run. ALICE households are working households; they hold jobs, pay taxes, and provide services that are vital to the Florida economy in a variety of positions such as retail salespeople, customer service representatives, laborers and movers, and health care aides. The core issue is that these jobs do not pay enough to afford the basics of housing, child care, food, health care, and transportation. Moreover, the growth of low-skilled jobs is projected to outpace that of medium- and high-skilled jobs into the next decade. At the same time, the cost of basic household necessities continues to rise. There are serious consequences for both ALICE households and their communities when these households cannot afford the basic necessities. ALICE households are forced to make difficult choices such as skipping preventative health care, accredited child care, healthy food, or car insurance. These “savings” threaten their health, safety, and future – and they reduce Florida’s economic productivity and raise insurance premiums and taxes for everyone. The costs are high for both ALICE families and the wider community. The rental stock in Florida does not match current needs. Analysis of each county in Florida reveals that there are approximately 1.65 million renters with income below the ALICE Threshold, yet there are fewer than 736,000 rental units that ALICE and poverty households can afford, assuming the household spends no more than one-third of its income on rent. Florida would need at least 915,000 more lower-cost rental units to meet the demand of renters below the ALICE Threshold. This assumes that all ALICE and poverty households are currently living in rental units they can afford, but the number of households that are housing burdened reveals that this is often not the case in Florida, and that the gap figure of 915,000 low-cost rental units needed is in fact a low estimate.

ALICE households exist in all age groups. ALICE exists even in households headed by someone in their prime earning years, 25 to 64 years old. In fact, this age group represents the largest segment of ALICE households, underscoring the fact that most jobs in Florida do not pay enough to allow families to afford the most basic household budget. Florida’s housing stock does not match current needs. Across the state, there are not enough rental units that are affordable: there are more than twice as many ALICE and poverty renters as there are rental units that they can afford. Challenges that Alice faces What challenges do ALICE households face in the future? In line with the national trend, low-income jobs dominate the economy in Florida now and will continue to dominate in the future. As a result of changes in the job market over the last three decades, the Florida economy is now more dependent on low-paying service jobs than on higher-skilled and higher-paying jobs. Sixty-nine percent of all jobs in Florida pay less than $20 per hour ($40,000 per year if full time), and more than half (54 percent) pay less than $15 per hour. These jobs – including retail salespeople, customer service representatives, food preparation workers, home care aides, laborers and movers, janitors, and groundskeepers – are projected to grow at double or triple the rate of medium- and high-skilled jobs over the next decade across Florida. The cost of basic household expenses in Florida is more than most jobs can support.

The evidence is clear that the cost of preventing homelessness is significantly less than the cost of caring for a homeless family or returning them to a home – one-sixth the cost, according to the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2005). The National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) estimates that the cost to help a household recover from a homeless episode is $11,439, including shelter, transitional housing, counseling, and other services (NAEH, 2005). And Philip Mangano, former executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, reports that the cost of keeping people on the street ranges between $35,000 and $150,000 per person per year, while the cost of keeping formerly homeless people housed ranges from $13,000 to $25,000 per person per year, based on data from 65 U.S. cities (Mangano, 2008).

Solutions Increasing the amount of housing that ALICE can afford without being housing burdened would provide stability for many Florida families. The cost of housing is high in many parts of Sarasota, and the units that are affordable to ALICE households. HOUSING is the cornerstone of financial stability, so the cost of housing plays a critical role in an ALICE household’s budget. Homelessness is the worst possible outcome for households below the ALICE Threshold, but there are lesser consequences that still take a toll, including excessive spending on housing, doubling up on housing, living far from work, or living in substandard units. For these households, housing is challenging in Florida due to the lack of available low-cost units. Expanding and preserving the supply of quality, affordable housing is essential to any strategy to end homelessness, poverty, and economic inequality. Tackling Sarasota’s Affordable Rental Housing Crisis Will Take New Investments along with Political and Community Will


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