Rep. Carbajal Hosts Forum with Local Officials, Private Sector Stakeholders to Discuss Housing Availability at Vandenberg

With commercial space industry slated to grow exponentially in coming years, policymakers and stakeholders discussed need to meet housing needs for servicemembers, civilian workforces

LOMPOC, CA – Today, Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) hosted a forum of officials from Vandenberg Space Force Base, local economic development organizations, real estate developers, and Central Coast elected officials to discuss the need for additional housing availability in the region to meet the expected demand coming with a growing commercial space industry.

The assembled policymakers and stakeholders discussed the need to improve housing availability and affordability for both servicemembers and civilian workforces working with Vandenberg Space Force Base and in the growing commercial space launch industry, which will bring hundreds of new good-paying jobs to the Central Coast in the next decade.

“The shortage of affordable housing – whether a family is renting or hoping to buy – is nothing short of a crisis in our region,” said Congressman Carbajal in opening remarks at the forum. “But Vandenberg is in a unique position. The U.S. commercial launch industry is on the cusp of a 60 to 100 percent increase in launch rates over the next five years, which will bring economic opportunities to our community but it will also strain our housing supply.

“We need to find a solution to support both our military members and the civilian workforce. It is going to take collaboration at every level of government and the private sector to make a dent and to make a difference.”

In attendance were Col. Robert Long, Commander of Space Launch Delta 30 and the Western Launch and Test Range at Vandenberg Space Force Base, and Thomas Stevens, Executive Director of Space Launch Delta 30, representing the 2,600 service members and 1,500 civilian personnel who live and work at the Lompoc-area base.

Local officials in attendance included California State Senator Monique Limón, Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne, Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino, Santa Barbara County Supervisors Joan Hartmann and Bob Nelson, San Luis Obispo County CEO Wade Horton, Santa Barbara County CEO Mona Miyasato, and the city managers for Lompoc and Santa Maria.

The forum was also attended by representatives from the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), Santa Barbara County Housing Authority, REACH Central Coast, the Home Builders Association, Robbins Reed, Urban Planning Concepts, People’s Self-Help Housing, and the Lompoc and Santa Maria Chambers of Commerce.   

Carbajal has been a leading voice in Washington in promoting commercial space launch opportunities at Vandenberg through his senior role on the House Armed Services Committee. Over the past two years, he has secured funding and policy updates supporting for Vandenberg’s space capabilities in Congress’ annual defense authorization and funding bills.

He also continues to advocate for Vandenberg’s selection as the permanent home for U.S. Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM).

Rep. Salud Carbajal represents California’s 24th Congressional District, encompassing Santa Barbara County and portions of San Luis Obispo County and Ventura County. He is a member of the Agriculture and Armed Services Committees, as well as the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he serves as the top Democrat on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee.


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