NAR, NHC Join Forces to Bring Workers Home

To help create more affordable housing opportunities for public and private sector workers in the Southeast, the National Association of Realtors® has partnered with the National Housing Conference to host a regional forum in Atlanta today to address the issue of workforce housing.

During the daylong Bring Workers Home forum, Realtors® will join local and state housing leaders to examine the region’s workforce housing challenges, highlight regional best practices to address those challenges, and share and discuss strategies for how workforce housing programs can help more working families find affordable, decent housing near their place of work.

“Realtors® build communities and care about the lack of affordable housing opportunities for low- to moderate-income working families in many of our cities and towns,” said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz. “Today’s Bring Workers Home forum will help bring greater awareness to the important issue of affordable workforce housing and will help stimulate additional local efforts so that more people throughout the Southeast can afford to live in the same community where they work.”

Having a full-time job does not always guarantee a family a decent, affordable place to live. According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, in 2007 nearly 35 million Americans had moderate to severe housing cost burdens, paying 30-50 percent or more of their incomes on housing. Workers like emergency personnel, teachers, retail clerks, hospitality staff and office employees who live in high-cost areas and whose salaries have not kept pace with local home prices often cannot afford to live in the communities where they work.

The lack of affordable housing choices in proximity to where residents work can lead to longer commutes, sprawl, and traffic congestion that can degrade the quality of life for all residents. Increasingly, communities have come to recognize that affordable housing impacts the economic and social well-being of the entire community, and that creating more affordable housing options is essential.

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