Workforce housing has varying definitions in terms of the area median income (AMI) restrictions, but in its simplest form it refers to housing that is affordable to working households that do not qualify for publicly subsidized housing, yet cannot afford appropriate market-rate housing in their community. In many Nebraska communities there exists a shortage of housing for teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses, service workers and others who are essential to the operation of the community. As a result of the mismatch in supply and demand, in many instances, those members of the community are forced to seek housing in other communities, resulting in additional travel time to work and an inability to fully integrate into the community in which they are employed.
“Workforce housing,” while identified as a general need in many communities, requires housing solutions which vary depending upon the specific community. Local community members are best positioned to identify the specific type or types of “workforce housing” that will best address the needs in their community.