Tuesday, August 10, 2010

NHC and NAR: Corralling Workers Near Home in the Southwest


NHC and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) will make a stop in Austin on Thursday for the third 2010 Bring Workers Home Forum focused on workforce housing and livability issues for working families. Over 100 local, state and national housing leaders will come together to identify effective solutions to workforce housing challenges facing the southwest region.

Despite the current global economic downturn, the city of Austin continues to grow both economically and in population. A report entitled Building and Retaining an Affordable Austin by ULI-Austin, HousingWorks, RECA and AARO, found Austin to be the second-fastest growing of the nation’s 20 largest cities, behind Raleigh, NC. The surrounding communities are growing at an even faster rate. But home affordability is also a bigger challenge for more families and individuals at a wider range of income levels.

Austin has been experiencing an increase in residential segregation as upper-income homeowners are edging out others from the city proper – forcing families and individuals to look to the suburbs for affordable housing. But the resulting increase in transportation costs is often not factored into the true cost of suburban living.

The NHC and NAR forum will center on the growing “cost of place” – the price of housing, transportation and utilities combined – and innovative ways to address this and other workforce housing challenges in Austin, the southwest, and across the nation.

By bringing together some of the brightest practitioners and thinkers in the southwest, the Bring Workers Home forum aims to recognize the housing needs of working families and individuals in the southwest and to work towards effective and efficient solutions.

Image: Texas cattle ranchers, via dailymail.co.uk

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