Skip to content
CityLab
Economy

Matching Affordable Housing with Affordable Working

A new movement seeks to extend the “co-working” model into small-scale manufacturing to benefit low-income workers.
TechShop, a shared small-scale industrial workspace in Detroit.
TechShop, a shared small-scale industrial workspace in Detroit.TechShop Detroit

While solving America’s affordable housing conundrum is a priority concern, there’s another dimension worth heavy consideration for low- and moderate-income workers, especially in trying to close wealth gaps: Affordable work space.

There are existing start-up incubators, where enterprising creatives can set up their Surface tablets and Mac laptops on shared desks in communal offices. But what about those who trade less in tech and more in tangible wares, like producing end tables, lamps, and ottomans—the kinds of furniture techies use while dreaming up their next big things? Those folks need work space, but there are few options available for buying or leasing below market-rate prices.