Businesses Need Homes for Employees
Updated: Nov 2, 2018
Interviews with local business leaders reveal that the inadequate pipeline of local talent is a significant concern and limiting factor for business retention and expansion. There are multiple contributing factors, but one that is most widely recognized is housing. Greater Newport is comprised of nine coastal communities. These communities are wonderful places to live because of the amenities that come with coastal living. However, these same amenities also increase demand, drive up the cost of living, and make the area unattainable for many Rhode Islanders.
In Southeastern Rhode Island (Bristol and Newport County) there is a significant divide between the household median income and the cost of home ownership and rent. This divide adversely affects the business community by reducing the number of work age individuals living in the region, consequently reducing the talent pool. To make matters worse transportation and limited access to the region deters many Rhode Islanders from seeking employment in the area.
Our local municipal and business leaders in Greater Newport understand this problem and are committed to addressing it through Connect Greater Newport's plan below over the next 15 months.
Connect Greater Newport's plan to address workforce housing needs:
Survey college age students regarding their post-graduation plans to understand the role housing plays in their decision.
Survey the business community to gain a comprehensive understanding of the need.
Review workforce and industry data to place monetary values on the term workforce housing.
Develop profiles of the face of workforce housing to educate communities and reduce the stigma.
Develop a best practice report utilizing research from similar communities.
Develop a report quantifying the range of workforce housing needs based on the data collected.
Brief each community in the region regarding the extent of the need and solutions that can be implemented that allow for preservation of quality of place.
Brief regional and possibly national workforce housing developers regarding the need in the region.
More information on housing needs in Greater Newport can be found by going to: https://www.housingworksri.org/Local-Housing-Facts/Southeast-RI1