Why Workforce Housing Matters


The availability of affordable, multifamily housing for an urban workforce has long fueled the socio-economic vitality of America’s leading cities. It has provided hardworking young people, immigrant families and minorities a sturdy ladder toward the American Dream.

But some of the rungs on that ladder are missing today. High-end apartment and condominium complexes dominate housing development inside the top tier urban markets. Median rents are setting new records at levels that are well out of reach for the workforce.

How does a capitalistic democracy survive when the majority of a city’s workforce is economically excluded from experiencing the great teaching hospitals, colleges, art, culture and commerce of a given state?

To remain great cities, our largest cities once again must serve as vibrant examples of democratic diversity and upward mobility, welcoming and accessible to a range of cultures and economic strata. Workforce housing is the missing ingredient. For the United States to remain a land of opportunity, we cannot stand by idly while our leading cities become gated communities. The middle-income working class continues to be squeezed out of rental housing and the challenge of figuring out how to create more workforce housing has become an increasing topic of discussion and debate.