Workforce housing is a term that refers to housing for families classified as middle-income and earning between 80 -120% of the average income in whichever area they reside. Variations exist, but there is broad agreement within the industry that their housing needs fall somewhere between affordable housing and luxurious housing says Maxwell Drever. More specifically, workforce housing is for those living on a medium-income but cannot pay their share of what middle-income accommodation would typically entail. Or, workforce housing serves those households who aren’t quite making ends meet while also having difficulty finding accommodation they can genuinely afford.
Maxwell Drever further clarifies by adding that home affordability is not only about housing costs but also the amount that people earn. Rents and purchase prices go up, but wages don’t necessarily increase to match them. The one group of people who would benefit most from workforce housing is middle-income earners, those on benefits or receiving low pay packets even though their employers would love to keep them. They can’t afford to buy a house as they don’t have the money available, but these people also cannot (or will struggle to) live in higher-priced areas because they don’t qualify for government subsidies.
A quick look at affordable workforce housing
Workforce housing is between 61 percent and 100 percent. Accommodation for the workforce usually makes up the median income in a city. The area median income (AMI) may be much higher or even less than 80-120 times. Most people will come into this category at one point or another during their career path, adds Maxwell Drever. It also includes individuals who have middle-income jobs and are not living off of government-supported subsidies. But in many cases, household size doesn’t play an essential role in determining the affordability of a particular unit either.
Importance of adding affordable workforce housing
Businesses and government agencies want their employees to be near because of long hours, multiple meetings, and rushed deadlines. It helps in reducing traffic for other commuters who live further away. At the same time, less traffic on roads can also be good for the environment. Challenges like pollution and depletion of natural energy sources can also come under control. The housing market can experience dead spaces with no options close to the job. So that employees will stick to renting near where they found better options.
Workforce housing programs facilitate the development of new affordable units in regions where it isn’t otherwise profitable. However, it doesn’t mean other essential factors of a safe and desirable livable place get eliminated. An affordable workforce housing needs to be as close to schools, healthcare centers. And other areas as any other neighborhood where the elite or high-income groups live.
People in the workforce sector tend to be the lifeline of any community’s daily work. They ensure the safety and wellbeing of the places they serve. Many neighborhoods realize this but are struggling to be inclusive. But experts believe that sensitizing them with the scenarios and educating them. About the need to be diverse culturally, economically, and otherwise is crucial.