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Denise Hamet Discusses Companies’ Creative Housing Models to Attract Workers

Originally published on

Many fresh graduates come across their ideal job in a big city. The reality of being a graduate right out of school might make city life a struggle, though. Student loans and a new career can conflict with larger cities’ high rent rates so much so that the recruitment process for companies is taking a toll.

Leading employers conclude an action that organizations can take to help eliminate this problem is providing benefits to help meet their employees’ housing costs.
With over 25 years of experience in community development, Denise Hamet discusses below how employers are getting creative with providing affordable housing options to employees.

 What does Employee Affordable Housing look like currently?

In cities such as London, an estimated 66 percent of companies’ entry-level recruitment is dangerously affected due to the lack of affordable housing. Deloitte, a professional service company, has assisted 150 new employees in obtaining apartments that include free, fast broadband, free rent for the first two weeks, no deposit, and no registration fees under company negotiated terms. The London company says they are looking into long-term leases in the future and potentially buying property to make accessible to employees.
Other big-name companies like IKEA and LEGO are devoted to bringing their employees affordable housing options through constructing apartments that offer low rent and a comfortable work commute.
Research shows that employees in the United States stay in their jobs 20 percent longer if they live five miles or less from their workplace. With a need to retain valuable employees, companies are striving to find ways to motivate staff to relocate closer to the office. For example, Audible is offering a 250-dollar subsidy to employees willing to move from their cool New York living area to Audible’s base in Newark. Audible also awards 20 winners a paid year’s rent in Newark as a part of their housing lottery.

King’s Island, the largest amusement and waterpark in the Midwest, offers multiple employment opportunities with a wide range of job titles. With the 2019 season calling for 5,000 positions to fill, this organization decided to construct a “One Team Village” housing option. This campus can house up to 400 people and gives employees who live more than 25 miles away from the park the opportunity to work at the park for weekly rent of sixty-five dollars. Rent includes a bed, furniture, locker space, mini-fridge, microwave, air-conditioned room, and free utilities.

Furthermore, areas such as Silicon Valley where Facebook, Google, and Apple reside are innovating new ideas on how to address affordable housing options for their employees. This issue requires attention from these companies due to the massive demand for technology conflicting with quickly increasing property prices and lack of rental accommodations. Google and Facebook are taking action in constructing affordable housing projects.
Facebook is calling its housing project, Willow Village, which will include 1,500 apartments, a hotel, and retail stores. Apart from their current construction plans, Facebook already offers employees a bonus if they choose to live close to the office.  
Companies should offer benefits to housing options for their employees. By assisting individuals out of a financial hole, companies are pumping money from their corporate balance sheets back into the economy. “Though many companies will leave community development to politicians, the overall path to affordable housing through employers is headed in a proactive direction,” said Denise Hamet.

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