I once represented a community of “affordable housing” sponsored by an employer. For what it’s worth, I’d like to tell you how it functioned.
Once upon a time there was a University that was situated in the midst of a community of Million Dollar Plus homes. At some point in the history of the University, they began having great difficulty getting Professors to come to teach at the University, because the Professors could not afford to live anywhere nearby. What to do, what to do!?!
The University purchased a parcel of land and hired a developer to build a housing development of large, 2,500 sf homes. These homes were attached at one party wall. Two homes then a break two homes then a break, a whole community of what I call “twins” and most people call “duplexes”. Large two story homes without basements that attached at the two car garage and were “mirror images” of one another.
The University maintained ownership of the land. Unlike a “condo complex” where the owners of the houses jointly own the land, the land continued to be owned by the University to reduce the cost of housing for the professors.
The increase in value of the homes was controlled by a governing document and the increase in cost of the homes could only go up by the same % that the University used to increase salaries of the Professors. The cost of the homes, which were purchased and not rented, was maintained at an “affordable” level and only Professors could buy them. The gain at time of sale was controlled, but also went to the homeowner and not to the University.
The University received the original purchase price of the homes to offset cost of construction and sold them “at cost” not including the land value, since the buyers bought the houses and not the land. There were a few problems in the ongoing complex of Professors…but not many.
This is but one example that I have personally had first hand experience with, so I assume there are others. When a single employer has thousands of employees, providing a means of good, affordable housing, could help keep salary costs down while giving their employees a place to live close to where they work. Better productivity, less commute time, people tend to work longer hours because it is convenient to stop into the office and catch up on some work.
What do you think? Too Utopian for a quiet Friday morning?