Employer-assisted housing (EAH) has been a very effective tool to build public-private partnerships in support of workforce housing in Illinois, both to address jobs housing mismatch and to spur redevelopment.
A new guidebook is available - including a number of case studies of model EAH programs around the country. MPC was pleased to work on this publication with Homes for Working Families.
MPC's EAH work was featured in HousingPolicy.org's inaugural podcast.
EAH programs continue to prove themselves win-win-win initiatives: employers benefit by building employee loyalty and reducing turnover. Employees gain access to homeownership education and down payment assistancetopurchase a home. And the communitybenefits fromincreased real estate tax revenues, a growing population of stable homeowners and less traffic and air pollution as workers buy homes closer to work.
The Metropolitan Planning Council's involvement in employer-assisted housing began with just one manufacturer in 2000. That successful program led to the creation of Illinois matching funds and tax credits and more than 70 more employer sign-ons and new small business consortia by the end of 2008. More than 3,000 employees have been counseled, with over 1,800 successful buyers. An estimated $1.1 million in employer dollars went to help employees purchase homes in Illinois in 2008.
In addition to the numerous employees who have benefited from their employer’s program, the Council has found EAH has helped accomplish many strategic successes in the housing policy arena .
Since 2000, the Chicago-area mayors created a housing task force, the state of Illinois adopted its first housing plan and passed various pieces of meaningful legislation to advance that Plan. In all cases, EAH and participating employers were key to success. EAH has been a door-opener, engaging business leaders and policymakers in discussions about housing needs without fear of community opposition shutting the door to such conversation. These conversations have already led to such meaningful steps as municipalities approving inclusionary housing ordinances, land trusts, new affordable housing developments in expensive, job-rich areas, and new investments in distressed communities .
To encourage more EAH programs nationwide, we are supporting the “Housing America’s Workforce Act of 2007” (H.R. 1850 and S. 1078) and offering technical assistance to help local communities, organizations, and employers get successful EAH programs up and running.
Examine data on who has benefited: 2006 Year-End REACH Report
Review recent media attention to employer-assisted housing.
To learn how employer-assisted housing can benefit companies, employees, and local communities in the City of Chicago, click here.
A National League of Cities newsletter features an article by Robin Snyderman.
"Right at Home: Local Support for Employer-Assisted Housing"offers suggestions for municipal and county leaders to support EAH initiatives.
Chicago Mayor Daley hosted an event for business leaders to learn about employer-assisted housing on May 15, 2008.
As employers participating in EAH programs have recognized the importance of quality housing options for their workers, they have taken the opportunity to support good housing policiy. Following are links to employers testifying before House Urban Revitalization Committee about Illinois housing needs.
Chicago Metropolis 2020 published housing policy recommendations, "Recommendations for Developing Attainable Workforce Housing in the Chicago Region."
Learn about model homeownership programs in Housing for a Competitive Workforce: Homeownership Models that Work
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