Businesses on Oregon coast challenged as workers struggle to fin - KPTV - FOX 12

Businesses on Oregon coast challenged as workers struggle to find housing

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Businesses like the Ocean Inn in Manzanita say they are struggling with staffing due to the lack of affordable housing for potential employees as property owners focus on more vacation rentals. (KPTV) Businesses like the Ocean Inn in Manzanita say they are struggling with staffing due to the lack of affordable housing for potential employees as property owners focus on more vacation rentals. (KPTV)
MANZANITA, OR (KPTV) -

Businesses on Oregon's North Coast are struggling to attract and retain workers due to a lack of available housing.

Marzano's, a popular pizza parlor in Manzanita, was unable to open its dining room for the summer because it couldn't hire enough people to work it.

A sign posted outside the restaurant informed customers Marzano's would only be open for take-out orders.

"People who are hiring professional positions find that they can't get housing for their people, and then people don't take the jobs because they can't find a home," Manzanita City Manager Jerry Taylor explained.

The Ocean Inn in downtown Manzanita, for instance, has been short-staffed all summer.

"We haven't been able to get anyone to replace our person who left right before the summer rush," co-manager Sandy Huntley said. "We'd have jobs for them if they had places to live and they could afford it."

Taylor noted that while there is new housing being built all around the small coastal city, they are not addressing the housing shortage because almost all the homes being built are second homes.

"They find that it's more profitable to rent the homes on a short-term basis than a long-term basis," he said.

That makes it tough for workers to find an affordable place to live.

Jonathan Savage, who works as a massage therapist in Cannon Beach, spent three months looking for an apartment to share with his wife before finding a small home in Rockaway Beach, which is a 40-minute commute each way.

"There are folks that drive from Warrenton to Tillamook and vice versa just because there's no housing anywhere," Savage said. “Every time calling up a place and them having a dozen people in front of you and them saying, ‘Well, we wish you the best.’”

Taylor said a special committee is looking into possible solutions to the housing crunch.

In the meantime, some businesses will continue to make do with the workers they have.

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