NVAHA 15 – Accomplishment #9 (2015): NVAHA Hosts “Where Will Our Jobs Sleep at Night?”

In 2015, NVAHA hosted “Where Will Our Jobs Sleep at Night?” a regional discussion highlighting the relationship between housing affordable for the workforce and our region’s economic vitality. This panel discussion, held at Capital One headquarters, drove a crowd of over 150 attendees. 

The heart of the discussion centered around startling statistics that shed light on why many people in our region live paycheck to paycheck. In a nutshell, in order to afford an apartment in the Washington, DC metro area, one must earn a minimum of $49,560 ($1,238/month) for a one bedroom, and $58,760 ($1,469/month) for a two bedroom. These annual salaries were then compared to that of individuals that make up the area’s workforce (e.g., plumbers, teachers, bank tellers, etc.).

As we learned, nearly every profession, except for paralegals and higher-paid secondary school teachers, could not afford to live in a one-bedroom apartment in the region. Examples included $29,020 (for a bank teller) or $33,096 (for a receptionist). Incomes just did not keep pace with rising rents.

This forum provided an opportunity to discuss recruiting and retaining a quality workforce and the role housing affordability plays in the economic competitiveness of our region.