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I play Banished quite frequently. Reading other people's tips and reviews and the consensus is to not build houses too far away from each citizen's workplace.

My question: Say for example I have all farms on one side of my map and a forest with gatherers, hunters, ect on the other side. I build houses next to each of the work locations. How can I make sure that the foresters, gatherers and such live in the housing that's closest to their workplace and the farmers live in the housing that closest to their farms?

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  • possible duplicate of Do citizens migrate closer to their workplace within the town? – walrus helmet Mar 21 '14 at 22:08
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    @bd33 The same answer a duplicate does not make. One question asks "How can I make my citizens move closer?", the other is "Will they do this on their own?" The fact that "Yes, they will." answers this question as well does not mean the two are the same question. – user98085 Mar 21 '14 at 22:21
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Over time, this will happen completely on its own. All workers will try to live as close to their work place as possible.

That said, family ties can cause problems here. A Forester and a Blacksmith living together may be a problem. You can manipulate this by reassigning jobs, or building a boarding house (to break family ties) and temporarily closing down homes to relocate people.

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    Just a little tidbit here. It is common practice among the people I talk with about this game to simply remove all workers back to the labor pool and then assing your worker counts again. By default people will take the jobs closest to their homes. – James Mar 21 '14 at 21:41
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    @James That's what I do, too, and it's the "simplest" way, but of course you have to deal with large-scale reshuffling, which may cause other issues (such as temporarily broken supply chains). – user98085 Mar 21 '14 at 21:42
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Over-time the game automatically optimizes location if possible, however I've noticed that reassigning jobs can speed up this process if you find it necessary.

For example, when I notice I'm starting to make less food than I use I start looking at paths. Occasionally I notice that my Gatherers have to walk long distances but my foresters live in the house right next to the forester lodge and gathering hut.

Resetting House Locations:

  • Set all gatherers and foresters to laborers.
  • Reassign the jobs in the order you want them to take first pick at housing.

So for my example above, reassign the gatherers before the foresters to have them take housing priority.

Builders:

I've also noticed that builders quite commonly cause issues with this. Since their job moves they quite commonly are is just the worst locations possible, quite commonly taking a location that would be better suited to another job. I use this method to fix that as well.

Conclusion:

This isn't a fix-all as the game does automatically do this over-time (as mentioned in Nicole's answer), however it has been quite helpful for me in speeding up the situations occasionally.

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So I just recently tried this, and it actually worked pretty decently:

  • Pause gameplay
  • Use "Remove Structures" on all houses
  • Quickly un-pause and re-pause the game
  • Reclaim all houses (somewhat tedious)
  • Un-pause the game

All your people should have re-housed themselves according to where they work, with the obvious exception to there not being enough housing in certain areas.

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