Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, Executive Director of the National Housing Conference’s Center for Housing Policy announced preliminary findings from a workforce housing needs assessment at a press briefing during the Governor’s Housing Conference. The full study will be released in the spring of 2014. Housing Virginia and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission are partnering with NHC and a number of local housing groups to sponsor the report.
The study looks at projected job growth in the Hampton Roads region over the next 20 years, and estimates the number of new housing units needed to accommodate its future workforce.
Preliminary findings show that the Hampton Roads region is projected to add over 160,000 new jobs through 2033, which will spread across the 14 jurisdictions that make up the region. This growth in jobs represents a 22 percent increase from 2013. The median wage in four of the five fastest growing industry groups is below $50,000. With incomes in this range, housing affordability is expected to be a growing challenge for the region in the next several decades.
“The shift to faster growth in jobs with more moderate wages is a pattern that is taking place in many of regions of the country,” Dr. Sturtevant notes, and the “structural shift means that in the future there will be greater demand for smaller and more affordable housing in the Hampton Roads region and in other metro areas across the country.”
The full study will show housing demand by tenure, price and rent range for each jurisdiction. The report will also put a special focus on the housing needs associated with military employment in the region and the special challenges faced by very low wage workers in the housing market. This study complements similar studies that Dr. Sturtevant has completed in the Washington and Richmond Metro areas.