- In order to keep employees who come from other European countries, the owners of Walsh Colour and Print decide to provide them with affordable housing.
- The company has constructed not-for-profit houses and sold below market value for their employees.
- Three families will be able to live in their new houses before the year ends and construction for the other houses will be underway next month.
Walsh Colour and Print employ nearly 120 people. Some of them come from other European Countries as local candidates with the specialized skills that the job requires have been hard to find.
The owners, Patricia and Tony Walsh, are aware that housing options in County Kerry, Ireland are limited and expensive. Their employees have difficulty paying the steep price for housing.
Two of their workers who have stayed with them for 16 years, Anna and Marcin Wojs, were in a dilemma as to go home or stay with the company despite their housing problem. So they talked about it with Patricia and Tony.
The owner couple knew that they really had to find a way to offer affordable housing to keep their employees.
As the company already owned land, the couple thought of building not-for-profit homes on the property upon the approval of a planning permit. The site can fit in 70 units with 20 set aside for their workers.
Since these 1,00 square-foot houses are not-for-profit basis, they are sold to their employees below market value at about €30,000 (roughly $36,500). Another 50 units will be sold at full value to offset costs.
Those who will purchase these homes will have an informal agreement with the company to stay for the following 10 years. It secures a steady workforce at the same time as an incentive for the employees to be able to have their own homes.
The first of the recipients are the Wojs family who will be spending their first Christmas at their new home. Two remaining homes are set to be lived in by new year by employees who purchased the houses.
Construction on the next set of homes will start next month.
Tony Walsh said, “Mercin and Anna and their family are over the moon. For the first time in their lives, they own something. We are going to roll this out now to the rest of our staff and, at the end of their time, when they are finished working with Walsh Colour Print and Educate.ie, they can close the door and say, ‘We own this.’”
Mercin and Anna Wojs are happy and think this is the best Christmas present ever for them.
The Walsh couple are hoping that other companies will follow suit to provide their employees with their own homes.
Source: Good News Network