Youth groups petition Congress to expand access to credit for first-time homeowners

ATLANTA (April 10, 2015) Youth advocates from more than 100 communities across the U.S. will urge members of Congress to expand access to credit and right-sized loans for first-time homeowners during Habitat for Humanity’s annual Act! Speak! Build! Week, April 12-18.

With the homeownership rate in the U.S. dropping to a 20-year low of 64.5 percent and access to credit becoming more constrained, Habitat is working to help build a more robust housing market and increased homeownership opportunities for lower-income families. To rally support for this important agenda, Habitat affiliates will engage youth groups through advocacy events and activities, including signing and sharing for an expansion on access to credit and right-sized loans.

“Including young people in the discussion about homeownership can help change attitudes toward affordable housing,” said Mark Andrews, Habitat for Humanity International’s vice president of volunteer and institutional engagement. “That is why Act! Speak! Build! Week exists — it gets young people involved in the fight against substandard housing to ensure everyone has a safe, decent and affordable place to live.”

Affordable housing advocates in support of making more first-time homeownership opportunities available are also encouraged to sign and share the petition. Habitat campus chapters and supporters can also advocate by organizing and hosting “Shantytown” events where groups construct cardboard shacks and sleep on campus or in a central part of town to demonstrate the need for decent and affordable housing.

Habitat’s Act! Speak! Build! Week is one of the many programs geared toward engaging youth ages 5 to 25 in Habitat’s work. For more information about Act! Speak! Build! Week and other Habitat youth programs, please visit

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a path out of poverty, since 1976 Habitat has helped more than 5 million people through home construction, rehabilitation and repairs and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and services. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and offers a variety of housing support services that enable families with limited means to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit