Attorney Todd Rodman will moderate a panel at the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce annual Game Changers Conference. The panel will focus its discussion on Workforce Housing.
The Chamber’s annual conference and expo are now in its fourth year under the Game Changers brand. This event brings together the region’s business community to learn about innovations in the region, opportunities for their business, hear a keynote speaker, and network with other professionals in the region. The 2019 conference features the release of the Chamber’s year-long housing study including the findings and recommendations in the report.
Workshops will include: Workforce and Affordable Housing, Transit-oriented Development, Best Practices and Trends, Home Ownership, Employer Incentives, and Life Stage Housing.
While the cost to construct a dwelling in Central Mass is slightly less than a city like Boston, rents and purchase prices are generally more affordable in Central Mass. It’s no wonder there’s a regional challenge to meeting demand for quality workforce housing.
Residents in Boston, Cambridge, and MetroWest are finding they can no longer afford to live in the community where they grew up. There are concerns that this could also happen in the Worcester region. Since 1990, most of Worcester’s population growth has occurred in its urban core – where the median age is 30 and median annual income is $40,000. In several Worcester neighborhoods, 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
Yet areas with advancing economic agendas are troubleshooting ways to provide housing that fit the budgets of working families. Smaller homes, non-traditional construction materials, shared amenities, and more are options to consider.
Studies show workers want safe, quality housing outfitted with modern conveniences but not necessarily high-end finishes such as marble and stainless steel for example. With lower-income housing customers being an underserved population, the time is right for developers to create this type of accommodation. This session will explore the ways in which developers and builders can create new development that delivers a return on investment and remains accessible to residents.
Steve Teasdale, Executive Director | Main South Community Development Corporation
Yvette Dyson, Executive Director | Worcester Common Ground, Inc.
Katie Krock, Owner | 332 Main Street
Craig Blais, President and CEO | Worcester Business Development Corp.