Middle-income earners are finding it increasingly hard to buy or even rent affordable housing in cities or near their workplaces. The last two decades or so have seen the prices of rents skyrocket, especially in commercial areas. But that’s not all.
The cost of living is also increasing at a constant pace. However, the wages and job prospects aren’t seeing a similar improvement, impacting people’s affordability for housing. This means many people have to resort to moving away from cities, often hours away from their places of work. Living far away from one’s job causes them to spend more time and money on commuting.
Either way, the person is spending more than they can afford, just to make it to their job. Is there an end to this vicious cycle?
Workforce Housing May Be The Answer
Workforce housing is becoming increasingly popular in affordable housing circles. If you’ve heard the term, but aren’t sure what it is, read on.
Workforce Housing is a program that makes affordable housing accessible for those earning between 60% to 120% of the area median income (AMI). It targets most middle-income workers, including police officers, teachers, firefighters, health care workers, retail clerks, and other people with similar jobs. It is important to know that not everyone working in these fields automatically qualifies for a workforce housing program. There are certain requirements that a household needs to pass to be able to qualify for workforce housing.
Yet, despite the requirements, there is a high number of people who can technically qualify for these programs. The issue is that there aren’t enough places to accommodate these people, increasing the gap between the demand and supply.
This is why Maxwell Drever encourages people to invest in projects like these so that it would become easier for people in need to find affordable housing.
Currently, there are two main workforce housing programs working to provide affordable housing to middle-income earners; Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and the Housing Choice Vouchers (formerly known as section 8).
However, since there is only a limited number of houses and buildings that can be used for this purpose, it is still difficult to provide affordable housing to everyone’s needs.
Turning Vacant Hotels Into Workforce Housing Could Be A Possible Solution
According to Maxwell Drever, turning distressed hotels into workforce housing can solve this issue to a huge extent. And since the hotel industry is going through a huge crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, repurposing some of the hotels that are suffering at the moment can help house more people while also preventing the hotel from going completely out of business.