The middle-class population across many American cities struggle to buy or rent homes in the neighborhoods they serve says Maxwell Drever. There are two main reasons for this – salary stagnancy and limited affordable home options. As an alternative, they choose to live in the outskirts, which increases their travel time and expenses. Such situations also lead to high traffic and pollution levels. There are other side-effects also. Many communities don’t know what this housing type stands for and why this is much-needed in the neighborhoods. Without proper awareness about these aspects, meaningful transformation can be hard to achieve. That’s why it is essential to understand what it is and its positive implications for society and the entire nation.
A look into affordable workforce housing
Workforce housing is for households that earn 60 to 120% of the district’s median income. These target middle-income workers, such as teachers, police officers, healthcare workers, firefighters, retail clerks, etc. Young professionals also come into the demographics. Most of these families lack eligibility for subsidized housing provided under housing vouchers and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) programs. Both these options cater to affordability needs. The reason for non-eligibility is their high income for these. However, they cannot find homes in cities because their income is too less to afford steep rents. Home buying is not even an option.
The benefits of buildingaffordable workforce housing
Maxwell Drever emphasizes the need for developing affordable housing for working groups within the communities they serve. Communities depend on medical workers, firefighters, and police for safety, security, and care. Workforce housing can make them more accessible even during emergencies. You cannot expect this when these people have to cover long distances due to the location of their homes. Plus, municipal workers, teachers, and other professionals can be great for society’s fabric. They can be the stabilizing force behind a community’s growth and peace.
Affordable workforce housing can solve moderate to middle-income households’ homelessness and affordability issues. Then, when employees live in the same community they serve, it helps reduce the traffic burden and improve their quality of life. At the same time, it can control the sprawl issues. Due to unaffordable rents, middle-income families prefer to live on the outskirts. As a result, this creates a demand for better public infrastructure, which by default entails the destruction of open spaces and farmlands. It is avoidable if these people don’t have to move out of the cities. However, for this, they need proper housing provisions within the community.
According to Maxwell Drever affordable housing has always suffered scarcity issues. But COVID-19 outbreak triggered all the attention to this sector because of the challenges faced by the societies and nations. The respectable working-class deserves to live in a safe shelter and make savings. They should also get access to education, healthcare, and other services smoothly. It is crucial for a country’s economic growth and stability. At the same time, when people live peacefully, the communities thrive and create a perfect example of diversity. It is an ideal scenario for every country – America or anywhere else.