Before the pandemic, the global sector encountered an acute shortage of affordable workforce housing. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened the scenario when millions of individuals lost their shelters due to financial issues explains Maxwell Drever. Loss of jobs, reduction in wages, and getting fired are some reasons that lead this vulnerable section of society to struggle for housing. While eviction bans forestalled mass level homelessness, emergency rental assistance was always there to help them out. More and more individuals came forward to help this vulnerable section of society fight their problem of homelessness. However, the issue of affordable workforce housing is not only limited to the workforce population.
From the employers to the employees, every section of society underwent this problem. The increase in affordable workforce housing units’ supply got fostered by reforming land use and zoning regulations. Experts reveal that improvement in the availability of housing units is necessary because of the rising rental costs. Hence, every section of society has to come forward to make a significant contribution to do away with this problem of affordable housing.
Where does the problem hit the hardest?
The renters are severely affect by a shortage of affordable housing. Their low income falling between 60 to 120 AMI compels them to stay away from the city centers. Maxwell Drever believes that around 45% of renter households have to spend nearly 30% of their income paying the rent. Hence, affordable housing comes as a relief for them. If they spend more than 50% of their income on housing and other expenses, they will have nothing to survive. Nearly two-thirds of these renters pay at least half of their earnings on the housing rent. Hence, people below the poverty line with less income are fighting to get affordable housing.
Heavy burden on employers
The shortage of affordable housing does not hit only the employees. The lack of workers in the core city is compelling employers to shut down their industrial units. In the past few months, a high percentage of employers struggled to get workers in the industrial units. More so, Maxwell Drever explains these vulnerable sections of society who now live on the fringes of the city have to spend more on travel expenses. It is further affecting their level of affordability along with other related issues. The exceedingly scarce availability of workers leaves the expensive housing units vacant in the city.
Some probable solutions
The issue of affordable workforce housing can solve with the combined effort of the government and voluntary associations. It is a pervasive problem that has taken the international dimension. Hence, people have to come forward to help these professionals get their affordable housing units. Therefore, real estate investors, constructors, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations have to initiate plans to help them deal with this issue of affordable workforce housing. More research and study are necessary for this sector to encourage a more proactive role of the players. Affordable housing is a crucial crisis that needs immediate attention.