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Converting a Hotel to a Low-Cost Workforce Housing Unit – Maxwell Drever Shares Best Practices for the Assessment

Maxwell Drever shares he sudden pandemic outbreak has adversely impacted the hotel industry all over the United States. Hence, the policymakers thought it could be worthwhile to reuse the broken and distressed buildings for housing units. It is not easy to conduct these conversions. The developers and real estate agencies need to check the hotel properties in a way so that the conversion comes easy. It’s because the hotels do get created to provide shelter, and due to the pandemic, they have been lying vacant for a long time now.

A limitation to keep in mind

Maxwell Drever says a critical limitation to the conversion could be the local and state land use law. The zoning designations also administer where the housing development gets enabled, that in several cases, isn’t where the hotels are residing currently. Similarly, the design and bulk of the building can restrict its scope for residential use. For instance, the residential buildings ideally need a more significant rear yard than the hotels. The floor-to-area ratios get capped for the residential buildings, making it highly challenging to convert the most prominent hotels.

Also, converting to residential use can highly trigger the accessibility needs for the people with disability that the hotels aren’t able to cater to. Since the apartment buildings and hotels get regulated differently, several hotels might not be suited to the conversion based on the current law. And even if this conversion were to occur, it might require massive renovations.

The best practices to adhere for a smooth conversion

It’s never easy to assess whether a hotel is suitable to get used as a low-cost residential unit after the conversion. However, one can always count on the best practices and decide the same. Some best practices that can come in handy are:

  • Considering the hotel’s location

Today, most people of the workforce population often shift to remote areas to get a house that they can pay for. Ideally, they would love to rent a home that is closer to their workplace so that they don’t have to face heavy traffic and lengthy commute times. Hence, if a hotel is located at a place that is well connected and close to the employment hubs, it is a good choice.

  • Assess the permissions

Even if a hotel is not in use, some permits and sanctions are required to get converted into a low-cost workforce housing unit. At times, specific permits might take some time; hence it’s best to prepare beforehand. Also, if a hotel has issues with its access, it’s best to resolve the same before going ahead with the construction.

  • Check for repairs and renovations

At times, a hotel might have required renovations and repairs that will aid the conversion process. It’s best to hire a property inspector and get the final decision on this. It will ensure that the property is robust enough to undergo the conversion and also sustain well after that.

According to Maxwell Drever, these are some of the best practices you can keep in mind to assess whether a hotel is suitable for getting converted into affordable workforce housing.

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