Over 90 local, state and national housing leaders came together in Honolulu on October 12, 2010 to identify effective solutions to the workforce housing challenge.
Essential workers in many communities, like Honolulu, cannot afford safe and appropriate housing near their place of employment. Highlighting solutions and bringing together diverse groups in search of practical solutions has been the mission of National Housing Conference (NHC) and National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Bring Workers Home regional forums.
Tourism accounts for nearly seventy-five percent of Hawaii’s economy and many jobs in this sector do not pay enough for workers to affordably obtain homeownership or rental homes, according to the Center for Housing Policy's Paycheck to Paycheck--an interactive database comparing wages and housing costs for 200 metro areas.
The forum focused on how to create, sustain and advance workforce housing both through public-private partnerships and privately funded employer-assisted housing programs. Panelists represented efforts underway in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, and Washington. Keynote speaker Darlene Porter, Second Vice President for Employee Relations/Talent Management at Aflac™, shared the success of their employer-assisted housing program, which provides down payment and closing cost assistance to its employees through a first-time home buyer grant program.
The following regional and national partners helped NAR and NHC plan this forum: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Hawaii Association of REALTORS®, Hawaii Housing Alliance, International Economic Development Council; Metropolitan Planning Council; and ULI Hawaii.
Please contact Lynn Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-466-2121 ext. 237.