SacBee: One key to affordable housing crisis? Pay construction workers a living wage.

SacBee: One key to affordable housing crisis? Pay construction workers a living wage.
August 21, 2017 Peter

No amount of project streamlining can solve California’s housing affordability problem by itself. To lower prices, California needs to build a lot more housing. But to do that, it needs enough workers with the skills to do so safely and correctly. Prevailing wage standards, which function as a local minimum wage for skilled construction work, can help address these critical needs and improve the industry’s competitiveness in increasingly tight labor markets. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the number of builders reporting “some or serious” labor shortages grew from 21 percent in 2012 to 56 percent in 2016. More workers are choosing not to work in construction because it is no longer the gateway to the middle class.

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