76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008



WHEREAS, in many cities, housing located in or near employment centers is too expensive for many working families, such that"average" income households cannot afford a median-priced home;and

WHEREAS, in most parts of the country, increases in wages have not kept pace with increases in housing prices; and

WHEREAS, the lack of housing affordable to middle-income households, typically earning between 80% and 120% of area median income, means that workers who provide essential community services cannot live in the communities where they work; and

WHEREAS, members of the workforce priced out of housing commonly include teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses, medical technicians, municipal employees, and retail and service industry workers; and

WHEREAS, many federal and state affordable housing incentive programs are directed toward developing homes for lower-income households, so the supply of housing for middle-income workers does not meet demand, particularly in high-cost urban areas; and

WHEREAS, mayors find it economically and socially beneficial to promote workforce housing that can offer various housing types, occupancy terms, and pricing options to accommodate economically diverse workers in communities; and

WHEREAS, the lack of workforce housing has countered smart growth efforts by forcing workers to move further from their jobs, thereby increasing urban sprawl, traffic congestion, and energy consumption; and

WHEREAS, high housing costs already have impacted employers’ability to recruit and retain employees, negatively affecting productivity and profitability, and undermining the local tax base; and

WHEREAS, collaborative efforts between the business community and local government have begun to encourage zoning, regulatory reforms, and financial incentives, including employer-assisted housing, that better promote a balanced housing supply with more workforce housing; and

WHEREAS, targeting these efforts to sectors facing severe worker shortages, such as hospitals and schools, would be particularly beneficial for communities and businesses as a whole,

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors hereby urges Congress and the Administration to consider federal policies, incentives, funding, and program reforms that help localities and businesses to promote development of more economically integrated workforce housing near employment centers and transit corridors.