For quite some time the owners of Vacation Rental companies have met and always discussed how their businesses could make a big difference while improving the lives of locals in Big Bear.
The city has always done a good job with spending the TOT dollars collected on improving the city that everyone can enjoy including locals. The Village, Boulder Bay Park, and other items around town. But how could those dollars be used that were more weighted for locals.
Topics always included; community centers, high altitude training centers, pool, free transportation , college scholarships, a local junior college.....etc. Many people know that there has been meetings regarding all of these in years past that included representatives from all facets of Big Bear.
But why Big Bear Workforce Housing Initiative now?
Back in mid spring of 2021, Rick Herrick during a council meeting spoke "is there a way to have funds from the general fund of the city to be used to help out workforce housing. That was the spark!
After research and conversations with the experts it was determined that if the city was to use dollars collected by TOT into the general fund to disburse it then the city may have to adhere to California State Guidelines regarding low income housing. It might be possible, but it was not an easy answer. We also are looking for a solution right away.
However, we learned that if local businesses contributed money to a charity foundation, that the foundation could then disburse money with out the issues and obstacles the city may occur.
The end goal is to work with the city to hopefully develop a program that the city is very much involved with. How that looks can be shaped by everyone in this room today and the local businesses.