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5 Ways Unions Can Help Solve the Housing Crisis

The housing shortage is pricing millions of Americans out of their chance to own a home. Unions offer a powerful solution. 

According to a new analysis from, there is a severe shortage of new homes on the market. Between 2012 and 2022, the gap between new home constructions and new household formations reached an alarming 6.5 million. A labor shortage in the construction industry is making matters worse. Fortunately, construction unions offer a solution. Here are 5 ways unions can play a pivotal role in addressing  America’s housing shortage.


Supercharging Productivity

Unionized construction workers are 45% more efficient than their non-union counterparts. And union-run projects experience 21% fewer delays due to staff shortages. This union proficiency is thanks to their superior training, safety procedures, and quality control measures. Increased efficiency means unions can build more in less time, reducing the shortage faster. 

Better Wages And Benefits

Unionized construction workers earn higher and much more reliable wages and receive better benefits than non-union workers, which helps attract and retain top talent. This is crucial given the labor shortage in the construction industry that's currently slowing the pace of construction.


Upholding Strong Safety Standards

Safety is a significant concern in construction, one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. Unions prioritize the safety of their members which explains why union sites are 338% safer than non-union sites and experience 5.2X fewer safety violations. This safety record reduces worker injuries, fatalities, and work stoppages that can derail the construction of new housing. 

Advocating For Investment In New Projects

Unions actively engage with policymakers to implement policies that encourage housing construction. Their political clout can help catalyze new development.


Building Better Communities 

By fighting for fair wages, safe working conditions, and the belief that everyone deserves a shot at the American dream, unions foster a more equitable society. In addressing the housing crisis, they're not just building homes— they're building communities and strengthening the social fabric.


The housing shortage is a daunting challenge, but construction unions are ready to tackle it. And the best part: new union-built housing will be Just one more reason to ask your realtor: “who built this building?”


Mark Colangelo is a writer and blogger.

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