Tackling the housing solution crisis during the post-pandemic is a challenge. There are several alternatives. With a slopping economy, unemployment, and inflation – people on the streets and homeless are increasing. When people are jobless and homeless, it leads to other issues like petty thefts, mugging, and fraudulence, which is certainly not a good sight. However, Maxwell Drever explains best practices for those evaluating a hotel to affordable workforce housing conversion.
Converting large budget hotels and motels into affordable home solutions is one of the widely preferred options by the government. There are several points for consideration before the conversion, like the hotel's location, the size, number of rooms, facilities, and alterations it requires for proper conversion.
Unfolding the facts
The American Hotels and Lodging Association (AHLA) carried out a survey. They concluded in the report of its State of the Hotel Industry 2021. The year 2020 was the most devastating in the history of the hospitality industry, with more than 40% of the lodging shut due to pandemics. But, with the initiative of converting hotels into affordable housing units in 2021, a win-win decision came into the picture.
By the end of 2021, the lodges recorded more than 53% of occupancy, which is an excellent boost considering the previous year. However, many budget hotels and motels are still struggling to stay afloat in the business. With the housing unit project from lodging, the situation is improving, and by the start of 2025, there will be a full recovery.
Assurance with the plan as the built is different
The evaluation process of any housing conversion from a hotel starts from the plan of the targeted building. The plan and structure of houses in the country are quite different from the hotels. Therefore, the commercial accommodations undergo a 360-degree modification for converting low-income housing units. The changes include – removing the luxury elements from the hotel and adding more basic amenities to accommodate more families and individuals, according to Maxwell Drever.
Location verification – it's vital
The hotel's location is imperative for the conversion into housing units. The homes serve families (with children) and for working population – this is why the hotel location must have better connectivity to nearby workplaces, industrial spaces, and offices. For families, it is essential to have access to open play areas, community parks, and schools – so the government takes stringent evaluation measures to ensure all these pointers.
Condition of the commercial building
With the pandemic hitting hard, the hotel industry succumbed, which made many commercial spaces redundant. With this initiative, Maxwell Drever explains best practices for those evaluating a hotel to affordable workforce housing conversion and considers the robustness of the building's essential criteria. Many hotels and motels were vacant for months, resulting in poor maintenance of the spaces. So, minimum repair and maintenance are a must when the conversion takes place. The building must have zero structural issues and amenity damage.
Converting underutilized hotels, motels, and lodges to relieve the housing shortage is undoubtedly one of the most innovative plans by the government.
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