Affordable workforce housing includes families earning anywhere from 60 to 120 of the district’s median income annually says Maxwell Drever. One needs to understand that when someone talks about the affordable workforce housing situation, they refer to full-time employed people with a minimum of USD 10,800 annual income. There can be three groups of the workforce population, to put things into perspective:
- Households with lower than 60% of the money and access to government subsidies and grants
- Households with annual income higher than 120-130% of the AMI, who can afford market-rate prices
- Lastly, families that earn from 60 or up to 130% of AMI annually
The last group suffers the most due to the shortage of affordable housing. They form a considerable part of the working population on which communities heavily depend for their daily needs. Everyone knows why they are devoid of basic human needs, such as decent accommodations. But what may elude most people’s understanding is the challenges associated with this type of housing development. Maxwell Drever takes some critical insights down to help address the core issue and figure out better solutions.
Most interested parties, including developers and investors, often talk about the high land costs to be the main challenge with the production of workforce housing. Expensive land acquisition costs in urban locales mean price per square foot can be huge while return on investment shared by landowner and developer may be small. Then, rundown urban infrastructures demand increasingly high repair, replacement, or remodeling costs, contributing to the complexity of these development projects in metropolitan cities.
Maxwell Drever believes there is a mismatch between the available site options and where people want to stay. For example, some cities are too large for the small number of people who reside, hence the low demand for living there. Then, abandoned properties that one can develop into livable units have the weak infrastructure or suffer fromcrime rates. Another can be lack of good schools as per personal standards depending on their financial status. When choosing a city where they would want to go.
Let’s focus on two prime areas –construction and parking. There is a severe shortage of supply in many cities when it comes to available parking. Because so many people rely on cars for their day-to-day activities and to get around town in general. The demand for free and accessible parking is high. Pricing regulates the market, which has yielded some problematic consequences for developing affordable workforce housing.
In addition,given the physical strains of urban construction sites, includingpoor or damaged constructions, contaminated ground, and basic wage requirements, building cost in urban areas tends to shoot upcompared to suburban regions.So, again, it becomes less of a proposition for developers and investors looking to make business sense, apart from searching for an opportunity to create social impact through their contributions.
Like these, many concerns surround these types of housing projects. Unless tackled well, there can be little progress to witness on the affordable workforce housing side.