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Panel to discuss workforce housing in SCV

Goal: to reduce imbalance between affordable housing and jobs

Posted: September 15, 2008 5:14 p.m.
Updated: November 16, 2008 5:00 a.m.

From left: Bill Kennedy, Kathy Norris and Julie Weith from the Valley Industrial Association join Paul Brotzman, director of community development for the city of Santa Clarita, to discuss plans for workforce housing that will be discussed at VIA's Sept. 16 business luncheon. The event will be held in conjunction with the SCV Chamber of Comme...

 

The Valley Industrial Association, Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, City of Santa Clarita and Building Industry Association will host an in-depth panel discussion on the merits, challenges and vision for workforce housing and employee mobility in the Santa Clarita Valley at the next Valley Industrial Association luncheon on Tuesday, Sept. 16, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Valencia, 24500 Town Center Drive, Valencia 91355.

A few seats for the luncheon are still available.

Local employers have experienced difficulty retaining employees in recent years and attracting new ones due, in part, to the inability of many workers to afford to live in the same area as they work. As a result, the lack of affordable housing often forces workers to live in outlying areas and commute long distances. The rise in fuel costs only adds to the hardship. Hourly workers and mid-management personnel have been the most affected.

To address the issue, VIA sponsored a Workforce Housing symposium earlier this year and invited around 40 community thought-leaders to discuss the issues affecting local businesses and the community at-large. It was discovered that economic growth for many businesses operating in the Santa Clarita Valley was inhibited due to the lack of local workers, since the cost of housing had outpaced the rate of income change.

The Sept. 16 luncheon is the next step in developing long-term solutions. The panel discussion will focus on the current and future critical needs of economic development, business, industry and the community.

Panelists include:
-- Bill Kennedy, VIA board member, chairman-elect SCV Chamber of Commerce, and planning commissioner for the City of Santa Clarita
-- Paul Brotzman, director of community development, City of Santa Clarita
-- Holly Schroeder, president/chief executive officer, Building Industry Association
-- Fred Arnold, president, California Mortgage Brokers Association and American Family Funding
-- Jack Shine, Habitat for Humanity

Julie Weith, VIA chairwoman of the board and Charlie Gill, SCV Chamber of Commerce chairman, will provide opening remarks. Andy Pattantyus, VIA board member, will moderate the event.

The business luncheon is open to the public. Cost is $40. For more information, call VIA at (661) 294-8088 or visit www.via.org.

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