Dear Chelan Valley Employers,
Thank you for helping to make the Lake Chelan valley 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 help solve.
A recent survey of Lake Chelan 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 valley’s median home price as of September 2021 at nearly $715,000, many of our area’s employees can’t afford a place to live.
It is now estimated that up to a third of our valley’s 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.
According to Charlie Guilder, North Cascades Bank CEO and housing trust board member, his bank has a vested interest in solving the housing problem. “We want our employees to be able to live in Lake Chelan, spend more time with their families and less time commuting,” says Guildner. “With that higher quality of life, they’ll be better and more stable employees.”
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 donations. The Chelan Valley Housing Trust needs funding for the subsides necessary to build homes our workforce can afford. Larger employers such as Campbell’s Resort, North Cascades Bank, the Goodfellow Brothers and Siren Song have made generous contributions of $25,000 and more. Recently, local realtors, including Windermere and Coldwell Banker, together with many smaller businesses and individual community members, have added to our donations in a significant way.
With our recent completion of Emerson Village, where we built and sold 5 quality two bedroom townhomes for $200,000 each, we’ve made a great start. Now we’re planning 45 attainable homes on Anderson Road and we need your help more than ever. If we want a community where school teachers, hospitality workers and tradespeople can live, we must act now.
We know you love our valley and running a business here. Please consider making an investment in your business and the future of our community. Take a few moments to explore our website, chelanvalleyhousing.org, and learn more about Chelan Valley Housing Trust and our upcoming Anderson Road development. We’d love to schedule an appointment so you could find out more about who we are, how CVHT works, our future plans, and how we could put your donation to work for today and tomorrow’s generation of Lake Chelan valley residents.
CVHT Board of Directors