Mandate a Living Wage

Housing "unaffordability" is just another way of saying people don't get paid well enough to afford decent housing.  

The national minimum wage has dropped 37% in real value since the 1960s.  Even Oregon's minimum wage of $7.50/hour is way below the $12-15/hour considered fair. 

A recent estimate by Cogan, Owens, Cogan, the Portland firm that did north Tillamook County’s Buildable Lands Survey, is that roughly half Manzanita’s population of 600 households is paying more than the acceptable 30% of their income for housing. Roughly half of those households are in such straits due to low service economy wages.

Movement towards a livable wage in our community would go a long way towards lessening the physical, mental and emotional burdens of lower income families living always on the edge. People benefiting from the Coast tourism economy should be sharing in the true cost of their play and retirement time.

It could be that all the local jobs here that are moveable – i.e. not tied into this specific place in some way - have long since been exported to the other Third World, and there is no justification for subsidizing wealthy tourists by permitting slave-labor wage minimums.

Being concerned about "affordable housing" without dealing with typical coastal sub-minimum service wages can only result in band-aid answers.

          

RESOURCES:

ACTION:

  • Educate the community about the needs and possibilities of local and statewide implementation of livable minimum wages.
  • Foster conversations exploring different impacts of wage increases in different arenas – e.g. tourism/hospitality vs. dairy farmers.

 

See Also:

Public Land Availability
Mobile Home Parks
2006 Tillamook County Housing Summit
2007 Clatsop County Housing Solutions Conference

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