Space industry growth kickstarts collaboration on housing

“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.”


Rep. Salud Carbajal speaks at a podium with a panel of governement leaders in the backgroundThat’s how U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal opened a recent convening of local elected officials, city and county managers, Vandenberg SFB leadership, real estate developers and REACH to kickstart conversations on how to meet the housing needs of an expanding industry.

With significant growth expected both on base — several hundred new personnel over the next five years — and in the commercial space industry, one of the Central Coast’s largest economic engines and employers is revved for major growth.

Space Launch Delta 30 Commander Col. Robert Long speaks at a housing forumSpace Launch Delta 30 Commander Col. Robert Long noted that improving housing availability and affordability for service members, contractors and commercial partners is one of his top priorities and that the base is ready to partner and assist in creating opportunities for diverse housing options across the local area.

“Workforce housing is probably the key issue confronting the base and our personnel, and ultimately influencing the pace of growth in the future,” he said.

REACH President/CEO Melissa James and Executive Vice President Russ Levanway addressed both the incredible economic opportunity presented by a growing Space Force and commercial space industry and the challenges of rising to meet the housing needs.

“We need both short-term and sustainable long-term action to fill the gaps left by decades of under-production,” Levanway said. “It’s a regional challenge and we need a regional solution.”


REACH Executive Vice President Russ Levanway speaks at a housing forum

REACH President/CEO Melissa James speaks at a housing forum






map showing the communities surrounding Vandenberg space force base Promising efforts are underway, Levanway noted:

  • In Lompoc, Burton Ranch would bring up to 476 single- and multi-family homes, while River Terrace will add 258 single-family, duplex and townhome residences.
  • In Buellton, Center Point Development Group is seeking to build a mixed-use development with 120 housing units.
  • Around Orcutt, 4,000 new homes are proposed as part of the Solomon Hills project now under consideration, while SB Clark is adding new units toward the buildout of a 279-home project.
  • In Santa Maria, a proposed rental-only development named Blosser Ranch would build 1,500 units of various housing types.
  • In Nipomo, Dana Reserve is proposing 1,270 housing units across a range of affordability levels.

Panels of local government leaders and developers also discussed challenges and strategies, including fast-tracking existing projects, building community support and streamlining processes to get more housing online more quickly.

Read more about the forum from Vandenberg, Rep. Carbajal and KEYT.


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