What is it?

Employer-assisted housing refers to any housing program—rental or homeownership—that is financed or in some way assisted by an employer.

EAH is a flexible tool that can be tailored to work in different community contexts and to support various equitable development goals. Most EAH programs help employees purchase homes—often near their workplace. They can also provide rental assistance or increase the amount of housing in the surrounding community that is affordable for an employer's workers.

EAH is a "double bottom line" strategy: It helps working families secure affordable housing near their workplaces—oftentimes helping them purchase their first home (a step toward building equity and financial assets)—while helping employers find and keep qualified workers, improve community relations, and revitalize neighborhoods. EAH is an especially powerful tool for employers that are struggling with recruitment and retention. At the same time, it leverages an employer benefit to generate neighborhood revitalization and help meet the housing needs of low- and moderate-income working families.

EAH programs are generally oriented toward households with incomes between 80 and 120 percent of the area median. Including options such as rental assistance, homeownership education, credit repair and counseling, and the extension of benefits to non-employee residents can strengthen the ability of an EAH program to serve lower-income residents as well.

This tool provides an overview of employer-assisted housing and describes what to consider when creating effective EAH programs and policies.

Last Updated: October 2007