Restaurant Workers - Mario Marovic
"The Pandemic wreaked havoc on our restaurants with rolling closures, lay-offs and uncertainty hitting hardest the most important people– our workers. While it’s wonderful that Newport Beach’s restaurants enjoyed a busy holiday season, it remains to be seen how many will be able to sustain a full complement of workers when the cost of housing in the Newport Beach area is so high and the personal and economic costs of commuting long distances presents an added burden. Bringing more affordable housing choices to our area is the single most important step our community can take to keep Newport open for business for residents and visitors to enjoy. We are thrilled to hear a new non-profit housing trust may emerge to focus more attention and resources to increase affordable housing opportunities for our workers."
Hospitality - Debbie Snavely
"Housing costs have become an incredible burden on our workers. It’s become almost impossible to find – and then keep - workers due to the personal hardship and costs associated with longer and longer commutes to homes they can afford. Even as salaries and benefits have increased, the cost of housing within reasonable commute distance has increased even more. We have lost talent and are finding it more and more challenging to attract the hospitality workforce we need here in Newport."
Teachers - Krista Weigand
"Recruiting and retaining teachers and other school employees is a difficult task in many communities and Newport Beach is no exception. With the costs of housing out of reach for many of our employees, we’re eager to explore new partnerships that could bring additional housing to the community. Many districts are finding ways to use excess property not needed for school facilities to create new neighborhoods and more housing opportunities for their teachers and other employees. This is the kind of creativity could benefit our district, our teachers, kids and community."
Seniors - Walt Howald
“There are so many challenges for seniors who wish to remain in Newport Beach for their (golden/leisure) years, among them costs of health care and inflation. As a Founder and Friend of the Oasis Center, I see firsthand the otherwise invisible need for community housing options for our seniors and their caregivers who are struggling to make ends meet as health challenges emerge and the cost of living keeps getting higher. I applaud the formation of the Newport Beach Housing Trust to accelerate solutions – such as accessory dwelling units and housing dedicated to these seniors – so that important members of our community can continue to live here and thrive."
Nurses, Medical Technicians and other hospital jobs - Julie Heggeness
“As we all learned during the pandemic, our community health care workforce and our other first responders put their lives on the line for us every single day. While many professions were able to work remotely, they all showed up to help save people’s lives and keep us healthy. Attracting and retaining doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and a myriad of other vital positions is nearly impossible when buying a home in our community is simply out of reach for most. If there was a way to offer affordable entry level homes for our essential workers it would be a game changer to our ability to attract this uniquely skilled workforce and have them be a real part of our community. The idea of a non-profit Housing Trust to work alongside the City to bring additional resources and creative solutions to provide affordable entry level housing is a welcome one."
Providing affordable and attainable housing in Newport Beach is critical to attracting and retaining emergency service workers to live and work here in our community. With the median price of homes now 3.3 million dollars and average rents for a one-bedroom apartment around $3,000, many of our employees – especially those at the entry level – simply cannot afford to live here. Programs such as down payment assistance and new workforce housing options would be welcome additions to employment contracts for those who qualify.