The issue of workforce housing—housing that is affordable to the working public—is a major focus of the Montgomery County Planning Commission.Our agency has continually examined affordable housing and related issues.We produced six award-winning reports on the topic, largely in response to a growing concern over skyrocketing housing prices and the resulting effect on the future economic growth of the county.To attract and retain workers, an adequate supply of reasonably priced homes is essential.We encourage governments, developers, and employers to examine and embrace their role in promoting and providing more reasonably priced homes for the county’s workforce.
What Is Workforce Housing?
Workforce housing does not mean low-income housing, subsidized public housing, group homes, or unattractive or rundown homes at the edge of town.The idea behind workforce housing is that vital members of the local workforce—such as teachers, health care workers, police officers, firefighters, childcare workers, municipal employees, and retail salespeople—may not be able to afford to live near their place of employment.Our workforce deserves the opportunity to live near the places they make a difference every day.Simply put, workforce housing is homes for working households.It is housing provided by the private sector or public-private partnerships that is aimed at middle- and moderate-income residents making between 80 percent and 100 percent of the area’s median income.Some workforce housing initiatives consider households that make as much as 115 percent of an area’s median income eligible for assistance.
Regardless of the percentage, workforce housing corresponds to residents who make too much money to qualify for traditional housing subsidies but not enough to afford local market-rate homes.These residents—ranging from highly educated young professionals to workers that provide essential daily services—may increasingly find that much of the housing in Montgomery County is priced beyond their reach.These workers, added to the county each year, are essential to the economic vitality and success of the Montgomery County.There will always be a need for more reasonably priced homes to accommodate our workforce.
Workforce Housing Reports
The six reports listed below fully explore the aspects of workforce housing.They stress the need for a collaborative effort—from ways municipalities can streamline ordinances to actions developers can take to produce more energy-efficient and compact homes—in creating more workforce housing.In addition to these reports, you can read about this topic in the brochure, Redefining Workforce Housing.For more information on workforce housing, please contact Anne Leavitt-Gruberger at 610.278.3727.
- Report #1 - The Workforce Housing Dilemma
- Report #2 - Buying and Renting a Home in Montgomery County
- Report #3 - Expanding Locations and Development Potential
- Report #4 - Eliminating Unnecessary Development Costs
- Report #5 - Cutting Building Costs, Not Quality
- Report #6 - Helping Employees With Housing Costs