A few words from Jim – April 2021

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The special report on Fire Victim Housing took me 2 days of interviews with 8 people that have been working very hard to find housing solutions for people that lost their homes in the fire. 

There is a lot going on and it’s a big story. I didn’t even get a chance to share with you what the large employers like Asante, Providence, The Manor, Harry and David and SOU have been doing for their employees. That will come later online as a series of short articles. 

It’s overwhelming to think that nearly 800 people are still living in motels and hotels and being fed by the state until the money runs out at the end of June. 

This report will show you what everyone is working hard on with the clock ticking. 

Check out Fire Victim Housing : A progress report on page 32.

Workforce housing is a key part of the rebuilding effort and we struggle to fill the needs we had for workforce housing even before the fires. 

Read what People’s Bank has done in Klamath Falls with hopes of showcasing the way for every commercial project to create mixed-use space and help solve the shortage one or three units at a time on page 22

Bob Kendrick is an Ashland based developer that has been working on a 250 unit workforce housing project for 7 years and he was able to leverage the attention the fire created  for more housing quickly to get approval to move forward. It’s a great leadership project of large scale complex development that encourages the residents to travel by other means to work. Check his story out on page 37.

Hunter Communications sent in an article about the work they are doing using E-Rate funds to help students learn remotely during the pandemic on page 28.

Finally, let me leave you with this thought. As a business community we need to work together to find solutions for workforce housing. It will take years to solve this issue and every day it gets worse and harder for us small business owners to be able to hire employees, pay them living wages, and enable them to live wonderful lives in our communities. 

We do not need our employees to feel poor, even though we feel like we are paying them a decent wage. Join me in working on this issue. Our future as small business owners depends on it. 


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