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While “workforce housing” may vary from community to community, there are several standard steps to consider when beginning the development process for workforce housing and incorporating community involvement.

Step 1:

Identify which parties or stakeholders within the local community have a vested interest and are concerned about workforce housing (business, local government officials, schools, social services).

Step 2: 

Recruit those community leaders to establish the local community group with whom to work.  Identify a local “cheerleader.”

Step 3:

The group should generally outline its understanding of “workforce housing” to meet the community need based on its specific demographics.

Types of housing:

  • Apartments
  • Townhomes
  • Duplex
  • Single Family Stand Alone
  • Incorporate “place-based” development

Targeted income strata of tenants:

  • Lower income
  • Moderate income
  • Higher income
  • Mixed income

Type of ownership:

  • Rental
  • Home ownership
  • Home ownership
  • Rent-to-Own

Step 4:

Commission a housing study by an independent third party or update an existing study to assist in developing a comprehensive housing strategy for the community.

  • NIFA Housing Study Grants
  • NE Department of Economic Development CDBG Funds

Step 5:

Obtain commitments from broader community leaders to contribute to the workforce housing effort and solution.

Step 6:

Identify any resource, labor or production issues.

  • Availability of experienced contractors
  • Necessary infrastructure
  • Available real estate

Step 7:

Identify any regulatory barriers.

  • Zoning
  • Tax-delinquent property
  • Permits/building codes
  • Regressive fees

Step 8:

Identify, prioritize and set goals with objective measures.

Step 9:

Identify available resources to assist in financing the cost of the housing. Closing the gap:

  • Publicly owned land vacancy and availability
  • Agreement to provide necessary infrastructure/tax increment financing
  • Leverage contributions from major employers
  • Local community foundation
  • Local businesses
  • Institutional investment
  • Housing trust funds
  • Nebraska Opportunity Fund
  • State participation

Step 10:

Refine goals and objectives.

Step 11:

Execute Plan.


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Fast Fact Photo
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