Maxwell Drever says housing instability refers to households that feel strained by searching for housing frequently and a lack of affordable options. A case in point is workforce millennials in the US. These hardworking members of the society, comprising teachers, firefighters, carpenters, salespersons, healthcare workers, and others, earn decent median income but lack of affordable housing and subsidies make them vulnerable to daily challenges. They suffer in multiple areas. Common woes include incurring debt when paying rent, overcrowding, frequent displacement, and getting forced to stay with relatives.
These experiences may cause emotional stress, which makes it much harder to access healthcare. Accessing substandard living conditions or housing and difficulties like displacement increases their emotional distress. Then, specific populations such as children tend to suffer the most as they have to face housing instability, which impacts their education, health, mental peace, and more. They don’t get the opportunity to mingle with the communities they moved in and remain disconnected. Maxwell Drever says these situations, at first glance, can feel like a problem of the specific society of the country – the middle-income people. But on delving deep into it, one would realize why their housing instability issues deserve a proper solution.
Unhealthy population, unhealthy economy
A person’s home represents a source of stability for a family. With housing stability, medical issues become easy to treat and control because they have the means to provide for their families and lead healthy lives. Housing is why there are less costly visits to the doctor or hospital, thus reducing patients’ financial burden and communities. But unfortunately, the lack of affordable workforce housing forces people to take shelter in substandard environments or remote areas, where they deal with everyday challenges. The struggles take a toll on their wellbeing, exposing them to chronic and acute illnesses. Their deteriorating health is not just a cost to their immediate families but the communities and governments also.
More patients mean crowding in neighborhood clinics and hospitals. Then, the government has to introduce measures and packages for their proper treatment, while this situation is preventable if their living conditions improve.
Job vacancies and employment
Maxwell Drever points out healthy economies thrive on fostering vibrant communities. Consumer mobility is of paramount importance. Affordable workforce housing boosts a nation’s economy by encouraging increased movement, leading to job creation and growth. As a result, communities become stronger, and the demand for goods and services increases. Businesses thrive when their city’s workforce is young and educated. Now, imagine the opposite of all this given today’s situation. Already companies are struggling to fill jobs because people from remote areas are unwilling to work for them. Simply due to a shortage of affordable living units close to the office. As a result, they find it challenging to grow their companies. Simultaneously, even if workforce groups agree to pay higher rents, these people fail to save enough to spend on other aspects of life. Which affects consumerism, stunting the growth of small stores and others.
Many scenarios hint at why the short supply of workforce housing at affordable rent should be everyone’s concern. It needs immediate widespread attention before things become difficult to roll back and improve.