The exceptional rate of urbanization in the USA has increased the demand for suitable, affordable housing. Maxwell Drever says that according to a recent survey, the commonly accepted benchmark of average property prices was thrice more than the average income of the residents. The results showed that 90% of the cities in the United States were deemed unaffordable.
Denver is also one of the cities that are facing an extreme workforce housing crisis after the recent global shortage.
What is Affordability and How Does It Affect Housing Costs?
Affordability refers to the ability to not only buy or rent a home but also to live in it. This concept of affordability includes transportation, infrastructure, and services in addition to operational and maintenance costs. A property cannot be called affordable if it is cheap to buy and maintain yet is too far away from a job or schooling.
Housing costs are growing at an undeniable rate, and people with average incomes are unable to keep up with them. To top it all off, the scarcity of land is making it even more difficult for middle-income people to be able to acquire affordable housing or places to live.
Ways Denver Is Overcoming the Workforce Housing Crisis in the City
Here is how the city is trying to cope with this workforce housing crisis:
Unused Property is Being Repurposed
The housing authority recently passed laws allowing motels to be converted into housing programs to cope with the workforce housing crisis in Denver. Maxwell Drever explains that this only entails adding tiny kitchens to motel rooms. This is usually faster and less expensive than new construction.
Increasing Productivity throughout the Construction Period
Skill shortages in the construction industry can drive up labor prices and, as a result, housing development costs. Denver has established a number of programs to accredit training providers to deal with the current workforce housing crisis. This will also aid in the coordination of training providers and construction companies, as well as offer money for the renovation of training equipment and facilities.
All of this is being done in order to make the city’s skill training more relevant to the building industry and appealing to young people.
Taking Systematic Steps towards Change
Systematic adjustments are required to address the issue of the workforce housing crisis. It is also important to create a systematic framework for the regulation of rent prices. This will protect tenants and landlords alike and encourage mixed-income and mixed-use housing developments.
The private sector must embrace innovative approaches to financing development and make it possible for those looking to improve their housing situation to establish their creditworthiness. Secondly, in order to get through the workforce housing crisis, companies or employers need to arrange affordable options and communities to help their employees with subsidies and mortgages.
The non-profit sector can also aid housing providers in establishing alternative tenure models by supporting lobbying activities. According to Maxwell Drever, these are some of the effective ways for Denver to keep up with this rising workforce housing crisis.