Best Practices
April 15, 2008

The Greater Miami Chamber is Building a Workforce Closer to Home

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As we are all too well aware, America is in the midst of a housing predicament. In many communities nationwide, workers are facing an unprecedented shortage of attainable housing for their workforce. And with each passing month, the problem worsens. Professional and skilled workers such as fire fighters, teachers, social workers, trades people and mid- as well as entry-level employees are forced to live greater distances from the very communities they serve, all in the name of finding a home they can afford.
Affected communities are finding it more difficult to recruit and retain entry-level and moderate-wage employees and, therefore, more difficult to retain and attract the businesses who need these employees. That’s why in 2006, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce commissioned a member survey which illustrated how the affordability of workforce housing is affecting the way business functions. Nearly 60% of respondents to the survey indicated that the rising cost of housing has impacted their ability to recruit employees, while 50% indicated that it has impacted their ability to retain existing employees.
Upon realizing the serious obstacles employers were facing in Miami, the chamber laid out an aggressive agenda to combat the need for attainable workforce housing and engaged the business community to take a proactive role in addressing solutions. The chamber’s Roadmap for Workforce Housing includes developing an assessment to identify gaps in housing needs, engaging local employers to “lead the market” on the issue, and convening both public and private sector stakeholders to provide a platform for learning, collaboration, and action.
“The lack of attainable housing for the workforce in our region is seriously affecting South Florida’s economy and quality of life.” commented Barry E. Johnson, president/CEO, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.   This is why the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce is committed to working to remedy the situation through private and public sectors solutions.” 
Learn more about the Greater Miami Chamber’s workforce housing initiative and the many resources available to local Miami businesses.