Housing supply

What does the action plan mean for the supply of accommodation for nomadic workers

In May, President Biden announced his administration’s housing supply action plan, which aims to mitigate the effects of market volatility and housing costs on the American people over the next five years. .

The plan outlines steps such as improving forms of federal funding through loans for projects such as multi-family developments, as well as steps to address supply chain disruptions that have slowed the pace of construction.

The history of housing in America has long been complex, sometimes in crisis, and more recently unpredictable. Mortgage rates have risen in recent months from historic lows, and national conversations seem to have stalled on bubbles, gas pumps and getting back to work.

Any effort to mitigate the extreme effects currently seen in the housing market should be applauded, but an integral and overlooked element of this problem concerns those whose jobs do not depend on a desk, home or screen. . Navigating today’s rental market is stressful if you have to move, but what about those who have to do it again and again? Construction crews, travel nurses, military personnel and their families, disaster response teams, and nomadic workers in many other industries travel from job site to job site in order to bring their wages home. home and do invaluable work that only their essential skills can do.

Ultimately, a significant portion of the nomadic skilled workforce is excluded from this plan – a portion that deserves the same level of support as their stationary counterparts. If not, these same communities could suffer from a lack of much-needed health services and infrastructure.

Unintended consequences

A number of measures outlined in the plan are aimed at accelerating the pace of housing construction. Specifically, the administration hopes its actions will contribute to the completion of more homes by the end of the year than in any other since 2006. However, it is important to consider how more homes are helping nomadic workers .

An increase in housing stock would in theory provide more options for itinerant workers, but it could also increase pressure to use more additional construction crews on the ground.

Although this specific objective indicates working with the private sector to solve problems along the supply chain and improve construction techniques, it presents a potential paradox of temporary housing. A nationwide push to increase construction creates the possibility of travel teams being deployed to areas that are unable to reasonably accommodate them.

The housing needs of these construction crews and other workers always vary by project and location, but in today’s housing market and without additional resources to meet these unique housing needs, many nomadic professionals will struggle. served.

Looking forward

It is important that we think about the potential future of housing, but with such a large plan, there is no guarantee that the plan will be implemented according to its proposed timetable. Services exist now, such as on-demand workforce housing, which already supports nomadic workers and should be supported in future housing plans. Focusing on immediate and long-term actions, the administration’s plan sets a timeline for the next five years overall. If current trends continue and stocks continue to lag behind demand, what additional measures could be considered?

Additionally, some aspects of the proposal are stalled in Congress, many stemming from the budget reconciliation bill passed by the House. If passed, funding will increase to support construction apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs to expand the workforce the industry needs to draw on.

While not all of these potential workers will end up in the nomadic workforce, a percentage of them will. In the future, programming focused on the specifics of the nomadic lifestyle at work would better inform new professionals.

The growth of rural housing

On a more positive note, while the plan may lack detail for nomadic workers, it does detail support for the construction of 8,000 rural multi-family dwellings. That might not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a marked improvement in the rural housing stock, which has historically been less plentiful. Any increase in this inventory is a win for travel workers placed outside of metropolitan areas, as well as current residents.

A worrying trend has seen big investors hoard properties in small towns across the country, which has only further exacerbated unavailability and made it difficult for people in rural areas to secure suitable housing.

Halfway through, 2022 proved to be as complex as the years before it. The optimism within the housing market is high, but we cannot ignore the impact that these crises can have over the years. The housing bubble and subsequent crash of the late 2000s continues to play out today despite the fact that nearly fifteen years have passed.

Over the coming months, nomadic workers will continue to support crucial works such as pandemic response, infrastructure improvements and housing construction, to name a few. At that point, the President’s plan will begin to take effect and hopefully bring stability and relief to those who are currently struggling. What I hope to see, in the future, are increased opportunities and support for the nomadic workforce providing integrated services across the country.