Workforce Housing Recipe for Economic Recovery Project | Knowledge Avatars™

Workforce Housing Recipe for Economic Recovery Project

As communities look to recover from the COVID Pandemic, a good starting point is to build new housing for local workers.

Prior to the Pandemic, a shortage of six million low-income housing units was already a crisis.  With 30+ million newly unemployed, the need for economical housing is soaring.  Addressing this key community challenge presents an opportunity to create jobs now.

This opportunity is a growing topic of attention:

  • A cheaper roof over your head during the pandemic?
  • COVID-19 & infrastructure: Why governments must act to protect projects
  • Pandemic likely to increase demand for affordable housing: NIC

Existing and new funding models provide a means to address each community needs now that can also enable wealth building by those families hit hardest by the economic downturn.


1 – parcel of land zoned for multi-family housing
1 to 50 - employers
1 – contractor or housing manufacturer that can qualify for $7,125,000+ of Main Street Loan Program (95% of total project)
# TBD – suppliers and subcontractors
1 – equity investment of $375,000+ (5% of total project - see options below)
1 – economic development agency
1 – community

This recipe may be scaled up or down as needed to meet local housing needs for workers.


Concurrently (to achieve maximum speed):

  • Identify and obtain commitments from employers for 50 residential housing units.  Employers may co-invest, commit to purchase or otherwise provide guarantees that meet normal lending requirements.
  • Identify a contractor or housing manufacturer with experience in building multi-family housing.  This contractor must have generated earnings in 2019 that qualify to meet the 95% financing in an amount of $7,000,000+ (cannot exceed 400% of contractor’s 2019 earnings).
  • Identify all major suppliers and subcontractors.  These may include landowners, infrastructure contractors, manufacturers of manufactured housing, skilled craftspeople, appliance and furnishing retailers, and any other business that may provide goods or services to a household that may be included within a mortgage loan.
  • Identify and obtain equity investment commitments of $375,000+.  This equity may come in the form of land, cash investment to the extent of profits by any of the suppliers and subcontractors and/or a program related investment (PRI) of a local foundation. 
  • Identify and obtain the commitment of a local economic development agency to champion the project and coordinate support of all government offices that must provide permits and approvals.
  • Share the idea with the community to gain support and to speed the identification of employers, suppliers and contractors and equity investors.

Once all ingredients have been obtained, implement quickly for greatest impact.

This recipe is projected to create 50 multi-family housing units with sizes between 750 and 1,250 square feet at an average turnkey cost of $150 per square foot.  These units may be rented at or below affordable rates to families earning below 100% AMI (adjusted for household size).  These residential units may be rented for three to four years and then sold at market rates to the families with employers providing a 10% down payment. 

Housing may be designed to facilitate ‘work from home’, distributed workforce and tele-work occupations.

In addition to meeting immediate needs for workforce housing, this recipe will also:

  • Attain social justice by enabling low income families to build wealth through home ownership
  • Create immediate jobs for all businesses providing supplies and services
  • Provide opportunities for upgrading local infrastructure (power generation, water, waste management, Internet access, transportation, education and entertainment).

Any business that may participate in completion of a housing project, any economic developer or community leader may champion this economic recovery project.

Free Webinars

Housing as an economic recovery project will be the principal topic of the next free Small Business Pandemic Survival & Recovery Webinar presented by Karl Dakin and produced by the Capital Innovation & Technology Institute that will be held at 9 am MDST (Denver) on Thursday, May 7 at Knowledge Avatars in a Virbela virtual office platform. 

You may register now at

Karl Dakin
Capital Innovation & Technology Institute LLC

The Capital Innovation & Technology Institute now offers for sale the Small Business Pandemic Survival & Recovery Kit with information on development of a capital strategy and accessing funding from government disaster relief programs.

This article was first published on LinkedIn on May 3, 2020 at

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