One of the effects of COVID-19 on the economy was on housing. It is one of the basic needs of people. Hence, we need to take practical and effective strategies to emerge and recover from the pandemic’s devastating effects.
What Housing Problems Are People Facing?
Many citizens in the US are losing their homes, which is mainly due to the unprecedented loss of jobs and wages during the COVID-19 crisis. Homeowners and renters are facing problems paying market-rate rents on their property, especially middle-class people.
Housing expenses have risen, and the number of people who can now afford houses has decreased. Teachers, social workers, nurses, etc., earn a limited salary, and they usually spend 30% of that amount on housing. With housing being so expensive post-pandemic, it could give rise to unemployment and homelessness in the country.
The Solution to the Housing Problem
Maxwell Drever believes that affordable workforce housing is extremely important as people deserve to live safely without facing high costs. One of the solutions to this problem is converting old, vacant hotels or buildings into workforce housing. Such housing would be made affordable to middle-income earners. The pandemic also affected the hotel industry, and this solution would result in a win-win situation.
Many economies, such as the United States, faced several economic problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hotel industry especially saw a huge downfall due to travel restrictions and orders to stay home.
Converting Vacant Hotels Into Housing
Due to the falling demand of the hotel industry, economists think it is a good opportunity to convert vacant and old hotels into affordable workforce housing. This solution will pull hotel owners out of their misery. This conversion will also significantly impact hardworking American citizens looking for a suitable and affordable place to live with their families in the future.
Social distancing orders and other measures taken in light of the pandemic have resulted in many vacant hotels. Many tourists have not been able to travel during these years, which has greatly impacted the hotel industry and the economy. Therefore, it would be beneficial for families who have been experiencing housing problems during the pandemic to find an affordable converted place to live. The government can encourage interested parties to invest in these properties and turn them into decent, affordable places to live.
Moreover, more workforce housing would encourage potential employees to move into urban areas looking for jobs. This increase in employees would be beneficial to the economy, leading to its growth.
This conversion of hotels is not only a beneficial solution to the economy. It’s also a more environmentally friendly option than buying land in the outskirts and developing new housing projects from the ground up.
Building new housing plots takes time, money, and a significant amount of fuel and natural resources. It is preferable to reuse already-constructed buildings by converting them into housing properties for workers and their families and avoid these costs.
The Final Note
Turning hotels into affordable housing might seem radical to some, but these difficult times call for unprecedented measures. Therefore, the government should consider this solution and other such unconventional solutions to improve several industries collectively.