Large employers often have enough working capital to directly invest in real estate development projects themselves and reap the financial returns. Some programs lose money on housing, but more than make up for those losses in other savings, including reduced staff turnover and increased ability to attract new hires. Through this approach, a large employer can survey their workforce and target the types of housing to be built to best suit their needs. Employers can also target nearby locations to reduce transportation costs for their employees. Employer programs can include both construction of new homes and rehabilitation or conversion of existing structures into homes.
Both Dartmouth College and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center have taken steps towards developing rental housing geared towards students and workers. Other large employers in the region should consider this approach for their own workforces.
Case Study: Clustered cottages for assisted living workers in Dover, NH
In response to a shortage of nearby affordable home options, the owners of two assisted-living facilities in Dover, NH are building a 44-unit clustered cottage community to rent to their employees. Many employees had been pushed to more affordable neighboring communities with commutes of over 30 minutes.