“Washington’s economic future depends on more housing
by Lisa Sturtevant and Agnes Artemel October 17, 2012
Is the Washington region building enough housing, or the right types of housing, for the future? At current rates, probably not, and that risks stifling the region’s economic vitality.
Over the next 20 years, the Washington metropolitan area will add over a million net new jobs. At the same time, the region will need 1.8 million workers to replace retirees and others leaving the workforce.
These workers will need over 700,000 new housing units by 2030, but even if the pace of construction over the last 20 years continues, the region would only add about ¾ that much. Plus, new workers will (and already do) demand more multi-family housing and housing at lower price points than what exists today or what most builders are constructing.
In 2010, the Washington metropolitan area depended on non-resident workers more than any other metropolitan area in the country. About 230,000 commuters from places like Baltimore, the Eastern Shore, Richmond and West Virginia work in Washington every day. Hundreds of thousands of other workers commute between jurisdictions each morning and evening.
A major source of the region’s transportation problems is the inadequate supply of housing within the region. Without enough housing for our future workers, the consequences will be enormous. Home prices and rents will rise, our roadways will become more congested, our transit systems strained to the limit, and employers will depend more and more on non-resident workers.
Housing the workforce is key to the Washington region sustaining its current economic success and achieving its economic growth potential in the future.
The region needs more than 700,000 new housing units by 2030
Forecasts from the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis found that to accommodate future employment growth, the Washington region would need to add 731,457 new housing units between 2010 and 2030, or about 36,500 housing units each year. The table below shows how many units each jurisdiction needs if it wants to house all of its future workers inside its borders.”
Via: Greater Greater Washington
Photo: dan reed! Flickr