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.
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).
Recruit those community leaders to establish the local community group with whom to work. Identify a local “cheerleader.”
The group should generally outline its understanding of “workforce housing” to meet the community need based on its specific demographics.
Types of housing:
- Single Family Stand Alone
- Incorporate “place-based” development
Targeted income strata of tenants:
- Lower income
- Moderate income
- Higher income
- Mixed income
Type of ownership:
- Home ownership
- Home ownership
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
Obtain commitments from broader community leaders to contribute to the workforce housing effort and solution.
Identify any resource, labor or production issues.
- Availability of experienced contractors
- Necessary infrastructure
- Available real estate
Identify any regulatory barriers.
- Tax-delinquent property
- Permits/building codes
- Regressive fees
Identify, prioritize and set goals with objective measures.
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
Refine goals and objectives.