Affordable workforce housing has gained immense popularity all across the globe. In the last few decades, several government and non-government organizations have been trying to help fight the shortage of affordable workforce housing units. The low and mid-income group individuals are trying to get a shelter over their head that is also close to their job location says Maxwell Drever. Since they are fighting low wages and regular expenses, the gap between demand and supply is only widening. In such a scenario, understanding the current state of the issue and progress in attaining the goal is necessary.
Recently, various non-government agencies have come forward with programs. And also projects that have gained the required momentum for addressing this gap. However, lack of participation at the local level is still an issue. Under the present governments, maximum activity in the real estate industry gets supervised. New investors are taking an interest in affordable workforce housing construction. However, there are a few challenges to combat those that are holding back most of the investors, in the real estate industry from actively engaging in this process.
Challenges of affordable housing units you must overcome
First and foremost, people must have a clear definition of the word affordable workforce housing. What is it? In various governmental announcements, affordable workforce housing gets defined as a housing unit for those who belong to the mid or low-income group. They spend around 30% to 40% of their income on paying the rent of the houses, states Maxwell Drever. Hence, their overall expenses on paying rent and other allowances have further aggravated their survival problem.
• Land availability: Apart from the lack of a detailed definition, another challenge is getting land for the project. Governments all across the globe have to regularly provide land parcels to investors and real estate actors for these housing projects. Peripheral lands may help develop these units in and around the industrial location. Higher authorities must review the blueprint and master plan of the project regularly too.
• Development norm relaxation: The government can streamline the process by easing density norms and other related norms, which are crucial for these housing units. It will help them optimize the allocation of resources and land for the housing project.
• Infrastructure up-gradation: Only providing land for the project is not the end of the game. Governments must focus on furnishing these projects with social infrastructure. And also connectivity to develop a vibrant and habitable community, believes Maxwell Drever.
• Dedicated approval: Streamlining the approval process is necessary, along with providing a fast track process for building affordable workforce housing. If you want the project to work, accelerating building approval is critical.
• Synchronizing state and central policies: Aligning the Central and State-level housing policies has become urgent. If the governments want to ensure a smooth process, compliance with central and state policies is required. Further, the central government must remove ambiguities centering on the initiatives and projects.
Further, strengthening micro-finance, relaxation on stamp duty and registration charges, and using advanced technology or other challenges that come in the way of affordable workforce housing construction needs proper handling. If the government wants to promote mass housing, they must consider these problems. A portable housing unit with modern technology has become an urgent requirement for a vast section of the population.