The affordable housing crisis in the United States have been present before the pandemic outbreak. It got aggravated due to the pandemic says Maxwell Drever. It is noticed that people arrive at the cities trying to search for job scopes and better living conditions. Most of the cities in the United States fall under the compulsion to house the citizens earning a low income through public or social housing. However, the low-to-middle earning families usually need to count on the market-based processes for accessing affordable homes. It requires the cities to have access to investor and public confidence via effective governance and regulatory initiatives.
The common concerns for housing affordability
Maxwell Drever shares some of the standard challenges in the matter of affordable housing. They are:
- The housing expenses are increasing disproportionately to the family incomes. It is a growing concern for the low-income households in cities that has insufficient supply of public and social housing. For instance, in San Francisco, it’s seen that the poorest 5% earns about $650 monthly and the bottom 5% rental rates are close to $1500 monthly.
- The supply of affordable housing fails to cater to the demand. With the restricted incentives for the private sector to come up with reasonable housing.
- There is land shortage for affordable housing. It is usually due to the absence of alignment amongst the state, federal and city agencies on the way land should get tax and value.
- There are certain demographic changes. There can be a population increase, comprising the in-migration. More so in the college students along with key workers, like nurses and teachers. A huge chunk of the small family size can add up to the demand for separate housing units.
- There is also the issue of ageing population. There is an increasing percentage of low-earning senior citizen which increase the demand for low-cost housing. However, the senior citizens that stay in the big family homes usually contribute to suboptimal allocation of the housing units.
- There is also the case of energy poverty. That leads to increasing expense of cooling and heating relative to the reduced household earning. Increased energy costs and the low building energy effectiveness.
Assessing the challenge of the affordable housing
It is necessary for cities to make sure that the land gets utilize optimally. To reap the entire population’s social, environmental, and economic benefits. Many experts have suggested a value-chain approach. For the issue of the affordable housing crisis and considered both the demand and supply sides. It has also helped to recognize the challenges and solutions for the same. Usually, such value chains aren’t exhaustive. But it enables us to reflect on the essential elements that affect affordable workforce housing.
Working on vacant properties
According to Maxwell Drever, the issue of affordable workforce housing needs urgent remedy. Hence, it’s beneficial to look at the abandoned and vacant properties available in the United States. And convert them into low-cost housing systems. It will help people who come from remote areas to the cities for an improved lifestyle and the homeless people.