LETTER TO THE EDITOR –
The real problem with VRDs in a time of crisis
It is Friday, the 20th of March, and as I look and walk around Lincoln City the restaurants are closed, the majority of stores are closed, hotels are at minimum occupancy with the majority of staff laid off and now unemployed. And in all of this there are hundreds if not thousands of our citizens out of work.
One hotel manager told me, with tears in her eyes, that she had to lay off thirty employees yesterday, all of them having no paychecks to pay for their substandard housing they might be able to afford. They have no idea if they will be able to buy food for their kids. They wonder what comes next!?
In the midst of this disaster I see hundreds of people at our grocery stores loading up their carts, another grocery store clerk telling me she worked at her place of employment for over twenty years and now she wears gloves and wipes down everything and she’s still afraid to go home because her husband has a heart condition and she doesn’t know what disease or virus she would bring home to him.
In the meantime there are hundreds of people on the beach, and hundreds of Washington and California license plates, all parked or driving through town. I wonder, are they helping our tourist economy or are they only helping the lucky out-of-towners who have a second, or even more homes that they rent out to these vacationers. True, they’re buying groceries, helping the giant corporations that use local services and do nothing to help the hundreds of the unemployed who live in substandard housing – who are just trying to survive.
This is the scourge of the proliferation of VRDs. Our citizens are having trouble finding affordable housing, and when a disaster strikes like the Corona Virus, the restaurant workers, the house cleaners, the clerks are all making a substandard subsistence wage are victims themselves – not the VRD owners who are the only ones who are getting income because the visitors can come, enjoy our beautiful city and the coast. They cook and drink in their fully furnished rentals while the workers and citizens of our wonderful area suffer.