The Region’s Affordable Housing Challenge
DC: Despite minimum wage being $15 it would take 88 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom rental at fair market rent.
Maryland: An individual making minimum wage ($11) would have to work 102 hours per week to afford the same size home.
Virginia: An individual earning minimum wage ($7.25) would have to work 130 hours per week to afford the same size home.
This data coupled with the impacts of COVID-19 highlights the severity of the region’s housing affordability crisis. The added economic pressures stemming from the pandemic led to massive layoffs, furloughs and decreased work hours, putting millions of families at risk of eviction and ultimately homelessness. Further, we know that these co-occurring crises disproportionately impact communities of color, who were already more likely to receive substandard healthcare and lack access to basic services, living wage jobs and affordable housing.
As an activator of changemakers that collaborate in the preservation and development of communities where all can live and thrive, HAND envisions a region where everyone shares equitably in the knowledge, wealth and resources uniquely represented in and between Baltimore, Washington and Richmond. It is our responsibility – all of us across sectors and jurisdictions lines – to ensure that individuals and families at every income level can take advantage of all that the Capital Region has to offer.
What is My Right, My Fight?
The My Right, My Fight campaign (MRMF) brings voices to the growing housing affordability challenge – from community development professionals working to create housing opportunities; and from community members who are on the verge of displacement. These stories chronicle a diverse community united by a common theme: their right to stay and our fight to ensure they stay. The goal is to take a step back from housing as we know it – from units and square feet to the humans behind each home. Stories and imagery from MRMF will be featured on our website and via a PSA campaign across the region on WMATA Metrorail, buses and stations. Can we count on you to tell your story?
Lend Your Voice
We invite you to share your stories with us, so that the campaign embodies the region’s rich diversity and experiences. To get started, complete the form below. Once received, the HAND Team will be in touch to schedule a date/time to capture photo and/or video to accompany your story.
ARE YOU A COMMUNITY MEMBER?
We want to hear why it’s your right to live here in the region, in safe, decent, affordable housing. Do you have roots here? Are there more professional opportunities than other cities? Has housing affordability been a challenge for you? If you were pushed out of your home, what would that mean for you and your family? What would it mean for you to live AND thrive here? Word limit: 400 words
ARE YOU A COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROFESSIONAL?
We need to hear why you work for residents to have safe, decent, affordable housing. What drives you? Why is this work so important to you? Word limit: 400 words