Here are some of the reasons workforce housing has become a hot-buttom issue:
Between 1997 and 2001, the number of lower-middle and middle-income households spending more than half their income on housing surged by more than 700,000, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies.
The National Housing Conference reports that average salaries for elementary school teachers ($41,080), police officers ($40,970), and licensed practical nurses ($30,670) are too low for them to qualify for a mortgage on a $156,000 home.
Retail salespersons could not qualify to purchase a median-priced home in any of the 60 metropolitan markets studied by the National Housing Conference. Elementary school teachers could not qualify in 32 markets; police officers, in 28 markets; and licensed practical nurses, in 57 markets.
Based on HUD's fair market rents, households with one full-time, minimum-wage earner cannot afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment anywhere in the country, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies.