Today, the concept of affordable workforce housing is gaining ample attention. People who belong to the real estate community, at the government sector, and even with the housing policy take interest in this segment says Maxwell Drever. Simply put, it’s a challenging issue because it’s both an affordability problem and housing supply issue because the middle and moderate-earning households have been highly stagnant for over two decades or more.
The need for affordable housing
According to Maxwell Drever, it is essential to people to have a place to live, close to their workplace. It’s crucial for workers who are relevant for the local economy. The essential employees comprise of emergency service workers, teachers, retail clerks and nurses and most of them will find the new build and existing housing overpriced. If you focus on the urban areas and close to the employment centers, the development and land expenses are very high. It forces people to stay further away from jobs and also increases their commuting costs and time.
The traffic congestion ease, commute time, neighborhoods have become more diverse and offers the scope for families to stay and expand in a place over time. The economies also strengthen by enabling employers to draw in and retain the crucial workers says Maxwell Drever. Hence, when it’s possible for people to stay closer to their workplace, the overall community benefits from it.
That aside, specific local housing authorities have come up with programs for buying properties at market rate and then self-apply rent limitations to make them low-cost to households with an income of 80% of the AMI. Today, the municipalities are also adopting the laws that require the new apartment developers to set aside or allocate a certain fraction of the new units for moderate- and low-income households.
Can new constructions help?
It’s not certain whether new constructions will complete resolve the concern of workforce housing. More so because of the increasing expense of the new construction. Hence, maintaining and rehabilitating the older rental housing, that is usually more low-cost to start with. Is essential to help address the requirements of affordable workforce housing. The operators, municipalities, and lenders need to work together to come up with ways to preserve and maintain workforce housing. Here, it’s essential to note the Federal Housing Finance Authority. Which uses its annual scorecard to maximize the concentration on workforce housing. Its regulations are more encouraging on the preservation of affordable workforce housing.
Last but not least, Maxwell Drever says that single-family rental housing has an essential role. In managing the requirements of middle- and moderate-income households. The single-family rental houses present almost half of the rental inventory. And can be of bigger units, rendering it lucrative to the families. And because of the foreclosure crisis, several companies have got big inventories of homes and have converted it to rentals. Hence, the business models carry on to thrive.
Hence, it’s essential to insure a sufficient supply of affordable, correctly-located, and good quality low-cost workforce housing. It is essential for the community’s well-being and also guarantees proper health conditions. The national housing policy must add in these components.