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Workforce Housing: Benefits, Who Qualifies, Who Builds It

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The affordable housing crisis has been felt by everyone, but especially by lower-income essential workers. Affordable workforce housing serves the needs of various essential service workers who play a vital role in communities but face challenges when it comes to securing affordable housing near their workplaces. 

Teachers, nurses, social workers, firefighters, paramedics, and other essential service providers struggle to find decent housing within their means, especially in areas with high housing costs. Especially in remote, rural areas, even fewer housing options are available, but employees need access to safe, affordable housing options while on the job.

By providing affordable workforce housing options, communities can retain and attract these crucial workers, maintaining the stability and vitality of the area. Companies like Quantum Assembly provide high-quality, low-maintenance, affordable workforce housing, even in remote areas.

Table of Contents
What is affordable workforce housing?
Who qualifies for affordable workforce housing?
Is workforce housing the same as affordable housing?
Who provides workforce housing?
What happens when companies don’t provide workforce housing?
What can be done to create more workforce housing?
Quantum Assembly works with employers and communities to manufacture, ship, and install workforce buildings and villages.

What is affordable workforce housing?

Affordable workforce housing is a residential property for individuals and families employed within a certain income bracket but may not earn enough to afford market-rate housing options. 

It aims to address the housing challenges faced by essential service providers who contribute significantly to their communities but often struggle to find affordable housing near their workplaces. Workforce housing is especially important for employees on remote worksites, often temporarily or seasonally, like construction workers, miners, loggers, or harvesters. 

Unfortunately, some employers don’t tell prospective employees that housing in the area is limited, costly, or low-quality. Prospective employees should exercise caution and conduct their own research about housing options in the area to ensure it meets their needs.

Here’s an example of where affordable workforce housing might be needed:

Ski resorts struggle to retain employees because there’s a lack of adequate, affordable housing near the resorts. That’s because building up in remote, mountainous areas is difficult and expensive. As a result, resort employees must either commute long distances (often in snowy, dangerous conditions up and down a mountain) or find a new job.

In these cases, the resort and the local government benefitting from the resort’s presence (the resort adds jobs and generates income) should reach out to a company like Quantum Assembly, which specializes in manufacturing, shipping, and assembling high-quality, low-maintenance buildings in remote areas.

Who qualifies for affordable workforce housing?

Workforce housing applicants must meet specific criteria specified by the employer or local housing authority. These criteria include income requirements, job requirements, and other specifications. The qualifications and application process will vary based on location and the agencies involved. 

Is workforce housing the same as affordable housing?

While affordable workforce housing is a subset of affordable housing, it’s not synonymous. Traditional affordable housing is typically for any individual or family below a certain income level. But workforce housing is specifically for individuals and families who are gainfully employed but struggle to find safe, affordable housing near their workplace.

So retirees, students, people with disabilities, or anyone with a lower, fixed income may qualify for traditional affordable housing, Section 8 housing, or subsidized rent. But workforce housing is typically provided to employees by the employer or local government benefiting from their work and presence in the area. 

Who provides workforce housing?

Employers and the local government should provide essential employees with safe, comfortable housing as part of their benefits package or at a subsidized rate. Employers and communities should partner with Quantum Assembly, which specializes in producing affordable workforce housing in remote, difficult-to-build areas.

However, too many employers still fail to provide adequate housing, despite other major employers’ pledges to provide affordable workforce housing.

What happens when companies don’t provide housing for employees?

Some employers bring employees in from out of the area, state, or even country. But when new employees arrive, there’s no adequate, affordable housing in the area. Employers in areas that lack housing will sometimes resort to booking costly hotel rooms or Airbnbs, even going against ordinances and putting tens of people in a single room.

Employees with no other options are forced to choose between inadequate and dehumanizing living conditions or homelessness. Neighbors, hotels, Airbnb owners, and the surrounding community are frustrated by the disregard of ordinances. Employers are frustrated at spending so much on hotels and temporary housing. Nobody benefits.

The only solution is for the employers and local government to provide safe and comfortable affordable workforce housing. But they’ll only do this if they know the buildings will be: 

  • Easy and low-cost to maintain
  • Attractive enough so that the local community won’t object
  • A smarter investment than continuing to pay for hotel rooms or Airbnbs
  • Feasible to build, even in rural, inaccessible locations

Quantum Assembly is the only affordable workforce housing company that can meet all these criteria, in addition to prioritizing respect for the building’s residents and the environment.

Employers, particularly large-scale corporations, should provide access to safe shelter, a fundamental human right, to the people who work for them. Sadly, many major companies fail to treat their employees with this basic respect.

What can be done to create more of this type of housing?

Building workforce housing requires a collaborative effort between government agencies, housing developers, and community stakeholders. It also requires the government to hold major corporations accountable for providing safe, accessible housing to their employees. Outside of this, there are a few things that can help provide workforce housing:

Public-Private Partnerships

Encouraging partnerships between government entities and private developers can help leverage resources, streamline processes, and reduce costs associated with developing affordable workforce housing projects.

Inclusionary Zoning

Implementing inclusionary zoning policies can mandate that a certain percentage of new housing developments must be designated as affordable workforce housing. This helps create a diverse range of housing options and encourages healthy commerce flow within communities.

Tax Incentives

Offering tax incentives to employers and developers who commit to constructing affordable workforce housing can incentivize investment in these projects, making them economically viable.

Streamlined Permitting and Regulations

Simplifying the permitting and regulatory processes for workforce housing projects can reduce development costs and expedite the construction timeline.

Quantum Assembly: Providing Workforce Housing to Rural Areas

Affordable workforce housing plays a crucial role in addressing the housing challenges faced by lower-income individuals and families who are providing vital roles within our communities, especially temporary or seasonal workers. Everyone deserves a clean, safe, comfortable, and affordable place to live, and Quantum Assembly is proud to provide this to the people who do so much for our communities.

Quantum Assembly works with employers and communities to manufacture, ship, and install workforce housing buildings and villages. Our pre-designed, pre-fabricated buildings and villages are the perfect workforce housing solution, even for remote worksites. Contact a Quantum Assembly representative now to learn how to build affordable workforce housing that employees are excited to live in, and communities are proud of.

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