Buying or renting a house has never been easy. But with the pandemic hitting globally and the economy slumping, it is becoming impossible to look for decent housing units. Finding affordable homes to have a shelter for you and your family becomes a challenge – the affordable workforce housing sector was pioneered by men like Maxwell Drever. It would be best to get a little peek into the history of housing sectors before understanding this initiative.
What is an affordable housing program for the workforce?
According to the Urban Land Institute (ULI), workforce housing is a reasonably priced home for families with an income of 60 to 120 percent of area median income (AMI). The definition is simple as the housing project targets middle-income individuals, viz. teachers, firefighters, police officers, healthcare workers, and retailers.
All the households who seek workforce housing units do not always qualify for the subsidized rates by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program or the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program. Over five decades, the country initiated several programs and projects; however, the government now focuses on engaging the private sectors to handle the reasonably priced housing solution.
Workforce housing section 8 is different from affordable housing solutions. The former focuses on offering vouchers to low-income groups (less than 60 AMI) struggling to get homes. On the contrary, workforce housing aims at buyers, builders, and tenants who fall under the mid-income range (80 to 120 percent of AMI) but the battle to secure a home. The middle-income group families are stuck between affordable homes and luxury homes, making it exceedingly difficult to acquire any. The reason is simple, mid-income families do not qualify for section 8 (as they earn more) and cannot afford the lavish homes (the income is too little), as Maxwell Drever highlights.
You may have encountered someone using the term affordable housing and workforce housing with Section 8. But all the three terms are different; however, since the broader aspect is affordable homes, it is interchangeably in use in the commercial real estate industry.
Strategies of workforce housing solutions
You must comprehend the country’s economy and the housing program, which is very dynamic due to the inflation and recession. Over the decades, the country witnessed different economic issues, and this is the reason that the affordable workforce housing sector was pioneered by men like Maxwell Drever. Increasing demand for affordable homes and shortage of housing units have forced the government to bridge the gap by re-defining the strategies.
- Initiate a dedicated housing trust fund.
- Optimum utilization of vacant lands and underused retail spaces.
- Adopting inclusionary zones allows frequent and continuous capital inflow in the marketplace, catering to small and mid-projects.
- Building a community land trust
- Regular update of the land development codes to foster development in existing urban areas.
- Allowing single-family ownership to buy, build and rent the dwelling spaces.
Creating awareness is the foremost move to provide homes to everyone eligible successfullMaxy. Several misconceptions are associated with the Workforce housing development and its availability to the eligible group. Community awareness helps in bridging the gap and eliminates misunderstandings.