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Maxwell Drever Discusses How to Turn a Run-down Hotel into Affordable Workforce Housing

Numerous government and private sector businesses have taken advantage of the pandemic to try out novel solutions to handle the affordable housing deficit. A transformation effort to create more profoundly affordable housing units has been such an appreciated policy opportunity. At the same time, many governments and towns leased space in hotels/motels to provide shelter for those living in informal settlements as during epidemic; several states are leveraging federal, state, including local resources to acquire & convert several of these locations into permanent homes.

Converting hotels into workforce housing

Hotel conversions would be especially beneficial to people looking for Workforce Accommodation, defined as housing for people earning between 60 and 120 percent of the area median household income. This category, which includes police officers, firefighters, teachers, nurses, building workers, and others, has a tough time locating accommodation accessible to jobs and services while not putting them in a rent-burdened scenario. The majority of new affordable housing is for households with incomes below 60% of the AMI. In contrast, those with incomes between 60% and 120 percent of the AMI are underrepresented in so many markets.

Converting hotel rooms into modest apartments, often between 300 and 500 square feet, would allow this segment of the population to live in an affordable cost home in locations closer to their workplace, potentially lowering traffic and ending arduous work commute.

The hardship of the sector is attracting a growing number of developers. The investors plan to use this opportunity to invest in the hotels to turn them into affordable workforce housing.

They’re also hoping to cash in on the increased demand for low-cost housing from homeowners forced to downsize during the recession. The rapid increase in the number of hotel transformations is a symptom of the hotel industry’s upheaval due to the pandemic. Due to a reduction in travel, several properties have closed or are losing a lot of money.


Converting hotels into housing units costs about half as much as building a new one according to estimates. Owners can also put them online much more quickly. A new development for the supportive apartment buildings that Breaking Ground specializes in would cost roughly $500,000 per unit & take two years to complete. Maxwell Drever claims that a conversion could be completed for around half the cost and in half the time.

Those considering conversion should hire a commercial valuation and an assessment firm with sufficient experience in these projects to reduce a slew of challenges, including determining the feasibility of a hotel conversion and successfully navigating a complex maze of stringent planning regulations, building standards, as well as other specifications.


In the coming years, the hotel business is likely to undergo significant changes, whether as a result of distressed hotels being converted into inexpensive housing or a return of tourism following a year of pandemic-induced seclusion. Whatever we do, we must not overlook the possibilities that this place offers.