In the nationwide shortage of housing stock, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to build more homes to mitigate rent hikes says Maxwell Drever. The solution instead is to address the various market forces fueling these costs. But since having just one simple solution isn’t a reality, there is a need to look at all the options in becoming sensitive and responsive to the challenges. Affordability is one such concern – how this country can provide an appropriate number of middle-class homes where grown-ups can live happily ever after.
After all, housing isn’t just a place to live; it’s what can strengthen or make a person weak. It shapes the person they are and the things they become. It shapes how much they eat, their health, and their spirit— but unfortunately,the hardworking working-class struggle to find housing in America. The U.S government is working on ways not to let its citizens lose their homes and grow ill from rising prices and bad economic conditions led by COVID times. These problems can quickly turn into bigger ones if one doesn’t pay attention.
Maxwell Drever says this situation is not the sole responsibility of the government to improve. Communities, developers, investors, policymakers, and employers have to come together to solve this because the limited access to affordable workforce housing is everyone’s problem.
Housing affordability is not only about having enough money to buy a house or pay the rent. Rent prices and home prices are steadily increasing across major metropolitan areas. And the workforce population is finding themselves too far away from good jobs. Even if they are ready to spend more on rent. They cannot discount what they have to pay for gas, medical. And other costs which form approximately 10 percent of annual take-home income. It makes it even more challenging to consider paying higher rent to live close to the office. As a result, they let go of the opportunities while companies face the challenge of empty positions. That tend to be an integral part of their expansion and growth plan.
Some cities are famous for their sprawl. But they often lack a strong public transportation system, as hinted by Maxwell Drever. Due to this, working-class families spend as much as 50% of their income on housing and transportation every month. Studies show that as housing prices go down, people in more affordable areas spend a lot more money on transport options, including public buses, metro systems, etc. This effect is even more apparent in middle-income families. Who often find it difficult to live affordably and feel compelled to waste time on their commute. Increased commuting time means less leisure time, which is incredibly detrimental to the quality of life and sleep patterns. Families, who already feel overwhelmed by an affordability crisis. Also desperately need additional income to raise themselves out of simply survival mode.
The people facing these grave challenges are nobody else but teachers, firefighters, salespeople, healthcare staff, and delivery guys. When their basic needs remain unrecognized, societies, communities, and companies suffer from productivity issues in every sense.