WASHINGTON (September 28, 2011) - Realtors® strive to preserve and expand housing opportunities for all Americans, and that’s particularly important for public and private sector workers. To address a nationwide shortage of workforce housing, the National Association of Realtors®, in partnership with the National Housing Conference, will host a forum today in Washington, D.C.
Bring Workers Home is part of a series of three regional forums hosted by NAR and NHC to develop solutions to the country’s workforce housing shortage. The D.C. forum will explore the nature of the workforce housing challenges in the Mid-Atlantic region and highlight some of the area’s successful housing programs and best practice efforts currently underway in D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The forum will immediately follow the NHC and the Center for Housing Policy’s Solutions for Sustainable Communities:2011 Learning Conference on State and Local Housing Policy, and will continue the theme of building strong communities by showcasing effective workforce housing solutions designed to keep up with emerging challenges and to leverage collaboration among a variety of partners.
“Realtors® work hard to build stable communities, and with a lack of affordable housing opportunities, those communities suffer,” said NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “As home costs continue to outpace wages, many individuals and families can no longer afford homes near their workplaces. This leads to things such as longer commutes and traffic congestion, which ultimately lessens the quality of life for all residents. The Bring Workers Home forum gives Realtors® the chance to work with local employers, community organizations and officials to closely examine this crisis and work together to offer solutions.”
Today’s forum will feature remarks from D.C. Council Member Michael Brown about why workforce housing matters and strategies to address the housing needs of the community’s working families. Keynote speaker Dr. Hassan Minor from Howard University will offer an employer’s perspective, discussing the benefits that employer-assisted housing programs provide to employers, their employees and the community. In addition, two afternoon panels will share case studies of successful workforce housing programs and discuss strategies for advancing workforce housing through community partnerships.
“It’s encouraging to see employers recognize the value of workforce housing and how it affects their employees and ultimately their bottom line,” said Phipps. “Communities across the country are also beginning to realize the link between workforce housing and their communities’ economic and social well-being. However, there is still a lot of work to be done and this forum is one step toward addressing workforce housing needs.”
More than 100 attendees are expected at the forum, including Realtor® associations and Realtors®, employers and human resource professionals, urban and regional planners, housing and community development leaders, and local officials, as well as those involved in local housing issues.
The series of Bring Workers Home forums are taking place throughout 2011 in Boston; Washington, D.C.; and Portland, Ore. Visit www.realtor.org/housingforums for more information.
For 80 years, the nonprofit National Housing Conference has been the nation’s premier public policy and housing advocacy organization. To learn more about the National Housing Conference and its research affiliate, the Center for Housing Policy, go to www.nhc.org.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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