The affordable housing crises have impacted everyone, especially the lower-income essential workers. However, affordable workforce housing serves the basic needs of various essential service workers, playing a critical role in communities. It may not be decked with saltwater infinity pools, and you will struggle to find a yoga studio or a juice bar on the premises.
Typically, workforce housing enables communities to house workers like police officers, nurses, grocery clerks, and other essential workers who are vital to their functioning. Also, workforce housing options in states like Texas (with oilfields and their workers) offer conveniently located and affordable accommodations for employees in the state, reducing commute times and improving work-life balance. They also help Texas businesses attract and retain talent while offering a cost-effective solution for workforce accommodation needs.
But this is not all; the benefits of workforce housing are multifaceted, ranging from financial to societal. In this article, we will discuss the five benefits of workforce housing options, including why employers should provide remote workforce housing to their employees.
1. Retention of Workers
By providing affordable housing options, workforce housing helps businesses and communities retain their workforce, like teachers, firefighters, and healthcare workers. While these professionals offer crucial services, they often earn only middle-income salaries, making homeownership or market-rate rents unattainable in the areas they serve.
For instance, different seasons call for different man camp needs in Pecos, TX. Thus, businesses can provide their seasonal workforce, like oilfield workers, with temporary housing and amenities like Pecos lodging, regardless of how short the season and how big the project is. The quality, safe, and affordable workforce housing allows towns and cities to attract and retain such indispensable employees as it gives them the ease to live close to their job locations while ensuring stability and quality of life, making recruitment and retention much easier for employers.
2. Saves Travel Time and Money on Employee Transportation
With workforce housing options, many employers get the opportunity to save a lot of money regarding employees’ transportation. As we know, one of the most considerable costs of recruiting new employees is related to their salaries; that’s why most companies often look at the living cost when relocating their workers to a remote location or new city. However, when employers offer housing as part of employees’ compensation packages, employees don’t need to stress about high expenses related to commuting.
They can easily continue to go to work cheaply every day without bearing additional burdens on their budget or time. Moreover, it also helps employees save travel time to work, a valuable resource employers can use more efficiently. With workforce housing options, employees living on work-site spend much less time traveling back and forth between places of work and their homes. Thus, they can use those hours for personal development or additional training. Similarly, employers also benefit from this saved time as it ultimately leads to efficient operations for their companies.
3. Value-Add Potential
While most workforce housing properties are usually Class B or C apartment complexes, these properties, while dated, provide a substantial value-added potential. Moreover, strategic renovations and upgrades to amenities, interiors, and exteriors allow investors to create significant equity and boost rents. Thus, intelligent value-added programs can easily transform workforce housing into highly competitive and attractive communities.
Also, even with modest upgrades to finishes, flooring, appliances, lighting, and countertops, a property’s rent potential and perceived value can significantly improve. Thus, for experienced investors, workforce housing offers an incredible opportunity to improve local housing stock while creating value and equity.
4. Healthier Workforce and Economy
If we look at the bigger picture, a person’s housing is a huge social determinant of their overall health. Also, among many other factors like education and income, housing can drastically influence a person’s mental and physical well-being. For instance, poverty limits people’s options and is linked to a range of chronic and acute health problems. The same goes for the quality of housing itself. People with low-income housing that may be poorly maintained or constructed are more exposed to environmental risks like water contamination than more affluent populations.
On the other hand, when people have access to affordable and quality housing options, including workforce housing options, they are least likely to suffer from environmental threats. In fact, they will be able to have enough income to access healthy food options, let alone routine medical care. This will ultimately help them lower the risk of developing chronic health problems. Also, when more workers are able to spend on their healthcare, the healthier and better the local economy becomes.
5. Strengthens Corporate Culture
Workers living on-site can be advantageous to the overall working environment in many ways. For instance, employees can spend more time with colleagues, which in turn helps in strengthening and elevating the corporate culture. Moreover, on-site workers are usually more invested in their jobs as they have a better stake in them, motivating them to work more efficiently and harder.
Even for employers, this means less absenteeism as employees are happier and more likely to come to work without actually worrying about caring for their families or commuting. Similarly, many companies offer employees different perks to attract and retain them. While these perks are expensive, they are also necessary as you must give employees something to compensate for their labor and time.
Thus, when employees are provided with workforce housing, they don’t look up to many perks as they get everything they need right at their fingertips, saving employers a substantial amount of money that would otherwise be allocated to perks like food, transportation, or discounted gym membership for its employees.
Workforce housing offers multifaceted benefits, from economical and societal to financial. It offers basic and quality rental housing for essential and middle-income workers, allowing communities and employers to house a workforce that is vital to their functioning. Thus, as homeownership grows increasingly unaffordable, the need for quality, safe, and reasonably-priced workforce housing is likely to remain strong for the foreseeable future with far-reaching benefits, making it beneficial for communities, workers, employers, and investors alike.