Finding affordable housing in Queen Anne’s County can be challenging. The median rent in the county is approximately $1600 a month, $131 above the national average for rent, and the median home price is approximately $329,000, considerably higher than the national median home price of $231,200. Research from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition also reports that 71% of extremely low-income households spend more than 50% of their income on rent. Haven Ministries has announced that it will be providing improvements to properties in Stevensville this fall to operate a housing assistance program that will support local residents when affordable housing is unattainable.
While participating in the Housing Assistance Program, participants will work closely with a Haven Ministries case manager to ensure that they are positioned for success to secure safe and stable long-term housing once their respective program period is over, usually within two years. Individuals and families who live in Queen Anne’s County can apply for the program, must pass the background checks, pay a program fee, and voluntarily agree to work with a case manager. Haven Ministries will connect participants to area resources such as education, jobs, and job training allowing individuals and families to stabilize, build up their resources, and successfully move on toward safe and affordable housing.
“We are thrilled to have found properties on which to build two beautiful, single family homes, one on each lot, within which to operate the Housing Assistance Program. The homes will be called Homes of Hope because that is what they are providing – HOPE. The project will provide significant improvements to the properties while also beautifying the neighborhood. In addition, we will be able to connect people who are having difficulty finding affordable housing to the appropriate services and eventually to permanent housing solutions,” said Krista Pettit, Executive Director of Haven Ministries.
Haven Ministries will continue to operate its seasonal shelter at Kent Island Methodist Church in Stevensville to offer emergency overnight safe and warm accommodations for individuals and families that do not have a dedicated location in which to sleep. Although both of these programs are important programs, they each serve a different population of community members with different needs.
According to Pettit, housing instability can include trouble paying rent or a mortgage, moving frequently due to the lack of affordable housing, or spending a majority of household income on housing. Because Queen Anne’s county is lacking affordable housing, Haven Ministries is stepping up to meet the urgent needs facing many county residents.
Haven Ministries Housing Assistance Program is being funded by private donations and grants, including those from foundations made directly to Haven Ministries, and through major fundraising activities. A program fee will also be collected from the Housing Assistance Program clients approved for the program. There are many local businesses, which the organization plans to recognize soon, who have contributed supplies and/or labor, such as Lundberg Builders, Torchio Architects, Lane Engineering, and Increte. Haven Ministries also invites other companies to partner with them.
Pettit added, “We appreciate the community stepping up and recognizing the need for affordable housing in this county, as well as supporting our Housing Assistance Program. We hope others will join those who have already made donations in support of this important program.”
For further information about donating or becoming a Business Partner of Haven Ministries, visit haven-ministries.org or call Krista Pettit at 410-739-4363.
Love shapes the ministry, love transforms people, and hope prevails at Haven Ministries. Haven Ministries operates a seasonal Homeless Shelter, a Resource Center and Food Pantry at 206 Del Rhodes Avenue in Queenstown, Our Daily Thread Thrift Store in Stevensville, Hope Warehouse in Queenstown, and a Resource Center at Fisher Manor.