As hosts of HGTV’s “Property Brothers,” Drew and Jonathan Scott have helped hundreds of families build and renovate a wide range of homes. Off camera, they work with Habitat for Humanity, a global non-profit that partners with people in need of affordable housing.
Jonathan says affordable housing is an important issue because “everyone deserves an affordable home where they can wake up in the morning and come back to at the end of the day feeling happy and safe.” Unfortunately, Drew says, the reality is that many Americans will never be able to afford that American dream. “We know there’s not a single state in our nation where a person working a full-time job earning minimum wage can afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment.”
Homeownership is transformative
Through their work with Habitat, Drew and Jonathan have seen how homeownership can transform the lives of lower-income families. Earlier this year, they built two houses in Nashville alongside new homeowners Amanda Osborne and Ashlee Walker Pride. Handing off the keys and seeing the kids enter the home for the first time was a moment they won’t soon forget. “They were already squabbling over who would get which bedroom. You could tell right then that it was a life-changing moment.”
Habitat provides more than just a structure, however, and Drew says that “courses in financial planning and homeownership set these first-time homebuyers up for success so they can make a better life for themselves, their family and, ultimately, a community.”
That education plus decent, affordable shelter provides a solid foundation for Habitat families. “There is a straight line between housing quality and the well-being of children. Surveys of Habitat homeowners show improved grades, better financial health and parents who are surer that they can meet their family’s needs.”
According to Jonathan, all families deserve affordable housing because those who don’t have it face challenges such as unpredictable rent increases, overcrowded and unhealthy living conditions and neighborhoods where work and educational opportunities are scarce. “Affordable homeownership frees families and fosters the skills and confidence they need to invest in themselves and their communities.”
Perhaps even more importantly, Drew says that all families deserve a place to create memories and feel secure under a roof of their own. “A home is not just a collection of wood, nails and studs — a home is where your heart and family will always be.”