Affordable housing does not have a single definition. What turns out to be affordable for one family may be out of reach for another family. The resources and wages make this difference. Housing costs and income vary from one family to the other says Maxwell Drever. If you look at a typical home, you will see that the average price of renting and purchasing is way higher than what is affordable by middle-income groups. The workforce population is one of the most vulnerable sections of society. Their area median income falls within 60 to 120%. Hence, affordability has limits.
The growing demand for affordable housing units has resulted in federal governments coming up with numerous strategies and programs for reducing housing costs and providing this section of the affordable housing unit. Families, earning between 60 to 120% of AMI, form the backbone of society. They are professionals like teachers, healthcare workers, firefighters, and others. The section cannot spend more than 30% of its income on housing and other expenses. Hence, the need for affordable housing arises.
What exactly is workforce housing?
Every community requires workforce housing for inhabitants like nurses, teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other critical workers. In most communities, there is a growing gap between the haves and have not’s. Those sections with stagnant wages cannot afford to rent or purchase a luxurious apartment. Hence, affordable housing has seen a growing demand in the last few years. Since the post-pandemic scenario, there has been an increasing demand for these residential units.
Along with this, the location of affordable homes plays an essential role. The workforce population is looking for a shelter near their job location. Most of these workers choose to stay close to their job location. Since the city centers are the heart of the urban sector, housing costs are constantly rising. Hence, Maxwell Drever explains that the workforce population cannot afford to live close to their work area. It has resulted in their displacement to the suburban areas and fringes of the cities.
Workforce housing has become an issue of equity. The lack of affordability and the shortage of supply are why this. People providing essential services like firefighters, police officers, and teachers cannot afford to live close to their job location. High housing costs force these families to move away from their job location. Moreover, the employers are not even getting laborers for their factories. Hence, it increases traffic, road maintenance costs, and air pollution.
The need of the hour is a positive effort from the government and private sector. More so, every section of society must come forward with a positive attitude to help this vulnerable section of society cope with its housing shortage. Hence, whether it is hotel owners, landlords, or higher authorities, Maxwell Drever indicates every person must be cautious of this pressing problem.
Many hotel owners have transformed their existing properties into residential units in response to this critical problem. Moreover, many landlords have come forward to repurpose their properties into residential units. These are efforts that require government support and encouragement.