As the demand for workforce housing has continued to rise in the last decade, drastic measures have come into play to combat the problem. While the focus of these measures has been to provide housing, many organizations have taken it upon themselves to provide this housing cost-effectively. One of these ways is to repurpose old buildings and hotel space. Conversion of these buildings into housing for low- to middle-income households can significantly reduce the cost of living, which directly and positively impacts the workforce population. Changing lives is what these organizations are striving for, and this strategy is one step in that direction. There are various benefits of this development process.
These affordable housing developments remove the costs associated with purpose-built construction yet still offer tenants all the features that generally come with some high-end private apartments. Additionally, these developments occupy plots of land in neighborhoods that are ideal to live in, surpassing some more upmarket areas. For example, most hotels tend to be just a few blocks from train stations and only a short drive away from trendy locales and businesses well-known for their high-end appeal and financial prosperity. By relocating to an affordable workforce housing development, renters no longer need to worry about spending hours commuting to, and from work or school, adds Maxwell Drever.
Ease of conversion
Stabilizing and converting the original hotel structure begins with checking for any needed repairs to the partitions, ceilings, and equipment within the facility. Some walls either require repair or new installations. Windows get fixed if there is any need; the same goes for fire exits and other emergency assistance equipment such as fire alarms and sprinklers or smoke detectors. Areas that don’t match local standards can improve or require replacement once all the necessary repair work has happened. Then, developers have to check services like heating, cooling, plumbing, and electricity to ensure smooth living for everyone. Essentially, these projects eliminate all the hassles that a newly built property has to go through to be ready to serve the people, says Maxwell Drever.
Rundown or inoperative hotels and motels are nothing but a civic burden. They eat into a significant amount of square footage that otherwise could do so much more in a constructive way. So, revitalizing these hotels into affordable housing for the working class helps reclaim the wasted space and opens up an avenue to improve the economic conditions of the area. When more people work and save more, they get an opportunity to spend in other areas of life. When this happens, small businesses and stores can start to capitalize on this and increase their footprint.
The problem of affordable workforce housing has been around for many years. But the pandemic has intensified the need around it by involving government and private players to do their bit to narrow down the demand and supply gap. The middle-income working class needs safe and affordable homes, and companies and communities need them to live closer than before. Converting hotels can address everyone’s concerns beautifully.