With the outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, governments took strategic measures to limit the pathogen explains Maxwell Drever. By imposing lockdown, recommending social distance, and restricting travel – the world got exposed to the new normal. These factors were responsible for emptying the hotels of the hospitality sector and prompted the creation of houses or shelters for individuals experiencing eviction.
Such efforts in the western world were an attempt to protect the vulnerable population from homelessness. However, hotel owners and landlords have a few reservations when engaging in this task. A brief look at international reports will reveal how homelessness affected this section of the people. If you examine the pros and cons of using erstwhile properties and hotels as housing or shelter for the workforce population, you will see that it is a worthwhile strategy.
Vacant hotels are becoming emergency shelters
Various housing projects and programs are underway in the western world. Since March 2020, providing temporary shelters to the workforce has become the new trend. It is for helping the social service workers, medical practitioners, and other individuals of the workforce population experiencing eviction.
They are at a high risk of getting infected with the COVID-19 pandemic because of their underlying health condition, as Maxwell Drever elucidates. It is imperative to provide emergency housing to these individuals to protect them from a deadly pandemic.
- In this situation, various hotels got converted into emergency shelters temporarily.
- They sheltered these individuals who formed the backbone of the society.
- Hence, there was a quick revamp of shelter capacity using various building codes and governmental regulations.
- It is a coordinated effort of national, international, and private institutions to curtail this issue of the short supply of affordable workforce housing.
Hotels as shelters
There is a pertinent question- whether to use hotels as permanent residences or not? Discussions by experts revealed that hotel conversion into affordable residential units is a significant factor in ensuring housing program success. However, a critical element to bring under consideration is geographic equity.
It ensures a balance between the rural and urban areas and provides an impetus to the hotel owners and landlords. Maxwell Drever shows that various sizes do not have significant capacity for developing affordable housing units and thereby rely on governmental grants.
They engaged in the conversion process by entering into a partnership with non-governmental organizations and private institutions. Hence, the need of the hour is a proactive role of the state governments to help these individuals pursue affordable housing development projects.
With the recession of the pandemic, human beings have learned vital lessons. The significance of housing and shelter is one of them.
By developing strategies for housing and sheltering individuals experiencing eviction, governments can cater to this section of the population and enhance coordination among different parts of the society. Also, it boosts the economy and the real estate sector in particular. Hence, the economy will return to normal and grab the benefit of conversion.