Letter: Security starts with affordable housing

Affordable housing is critical to the emotional, relational and physical health of seniors, persons with disabilities and families.

But that is no small feat. Affordable housing is starkly limited in the U.S. Nearly 19 million U.S. households pay more than half their income on housing, and hundreds of thousands more have no home at all. Access to affordable housing would provide critical stability for these families, and lower the risk that vulnerable families become homeless.

We need viable and quick solutions to make housing accessible and affordable to all if we want to build up our American populace.

Samaritas is already recognized as one of the leaders of high quality affordable living in Michigan. We presently have 15 campuses around Michigan. Twelve are for seniors, two are for families and one for disabled persons.

We have our sights set on Detroit, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo or Muskegon in the next year, to transform properties into joint affordable housing-commercial spaces building a vibrant community where all people thrive.

High housing costs leave low-income families with little left for other important expenses. We want an American populace where everyone can save money, send their children to college and provide for a comfortable retirement.

Children, in particular, are even more at-risk for the damaging outcomes of housing instability. When there is no place to call home, to return each day and do homework, children do not perform well in school. Poor school performance leads to limited career choices and a multigenerational cycle of poverty that cannot be resolved.

Shouldn’t this be a main focus of all organizations in our nation? Shouldn’t we all be concerned about the equity of our family landscape? Shouldn’t we all want to better our communities to lead to overall strength and prosperity for our nation as a whole?

It’s all ages, all stages. From the youngest among us to the oldest, we need an American populace that can afford to live in safe, stable communities, if we are to be proud of our healthy, achieving nation. Quality affordable housing may promote better mental and physical health, and improve quality of life for the most vulnerable among us — our oldest and our youngest.

Every single one of us face a moral test of how we treat the most vulnerable.

And this test begins with adequate, affordable housing. Without this, a person’s capacity for health is severely damaged, resulting in even more dependence on government for financial, emotional and physical support.

Sam Beals, CEO