Dear Columbia Gorge  Employers,

Thank you for helping to make the Columbia Gorge  a wonderful community to live and visit. You are the economic engine that provides for our area’s livelihoods and tax base. But, as you know there is a real challenge in our community that we all can solve.

A recent survey of Columbia Gorge area businesses has indicated that finding and keeping quality employees is becoming increasingly difficult. The cause? Lack of available housing.

With rental vacancy rates close to zero, and the median home price at nearly $450,000, many of our area’s employees can’t afford a place to live. 

It is now estimated that up to a third of our workforce commutes to work from outside the area. Many employers have noticed this trend contributes to increased turnover and less workplace engagement. After all, an employee who is commuting from out of the area is likely looking for a job closer to home. Besides high turnover, employers are facing staffing shortages, particularly during peak season, and rising labor costs as a result.

I am sure you, like many other business owners, want your employees to be able to live in the communities where they work so they may spend more time with their families and less time commuting. A higher quality of life equals more happy and stable employees.

If we want a community where school teachers, hospitality workers and tradespeople can live, we must act now.  As an employer, how can you get involved to help solve our housing problem? One of the easiest and most effective ways is through cash or land donations. The Big River Community Land Trust needs funding necessary to build homes our workforce can afford.

We know you love our community and running a business here. Please consider making an investment in the future of your business and our community. Take a few moments to explore our website and learn more about the Big River Community Land Trust. We’d love to schedule an appointment so you could find out more about who we are, how the BRCLT works, our future plans, and how we could put your donation to work for today and tomorrow’s generation of Columbia Gorge residents.

The BRCLT Board of Directors


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