Saturday, October 8, 2016

Affordable Care and Housing

One thing the Affordable Care Act did was move a lot of people in lower paying service and retail jobs into part-time work. The better paying jobs are usually full-time and include benefits. Some of these are 12-25 hours per week positions, in which case someone can find a similar opening and get by on two jobs. A lot of these are 25-30 hours per week positions. If someone wants to work 50+ hours a week, this might be ok. Otherwise, they need to try and pick up one or two shifts somewhere in order to average around 40 hours per week. There are only so many companies that will hire someone for one or two shifts.

This makes finding housing more difficult for some. Roommates are always an option, but roommates make things more complicated. If someone quits their job or doesn't pay their share, this can put a lease in jeopardy. It might take a while to get the person out and find a replacement.

With this scenario, people need more rooming houses where they have easy access (small deposit and low rent). They may not have private baths and kitchens, but they can afford the rent and share resources.

One barrier to this is there aren't very many houses designed for this - most of them are older. Local occupancy limits and zoning can be problems with this and where several people (roommates) get together in order to pool their resources.

New construction of these types of housing units would ease some of the housing problems, create jobs and increase residential housing starts.

Affordable Care and Housing