Vandenberg Leaders Participate in Housing Forum, Seek Diverse Options for Increased Population

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tiarra Sibley
  • Space Launch Delta 30 Public Affairs

During a housing forum hosted by Congressman Salud Carbajal in Lompoc, Calif., Feb. 15, 2023, Col. Robert Long, Space Launch Delta 30 commander, and Tom Stevens, SLD 30’s executive director, represented the 2,600 service members and 1,500 civilian personnel who live and work at Vandenberg Space Force Base.

One of Long’s top priorities is improving housing availability and affordability for service members, contractors and commercial partners working with Vandenberg Space Force Base. During the forum, he shared data with officials from local economic development organizations, real estate developers and Central Coast elected officials. Collaboratively the group discussed the need for additional housing availability in the region to meet the expected demand coming with a growing commercial space industry.

“Vandenberg Space Force Base is to the premiere west coast launch site for military, civil, and commercial space operations, and we’re currently the cornerstone of our nation’s space and missile training,” said Long. “Work force housing is probably the key issue confronting the base and our personnel, and ultimately influencing the pace of growth in the future.”

With that, the colonel said the base is ready to partner and assist in creating opportunities for diverse housing options across the local area.

“As a community partner, my goal here today is to give you data so that you can understand what our future looks like. We’re estimating that by 2028, the base is projected to add more than 300 new personnel.” said Long.

Carbajal expressed interest in hosting another forum in the near future. He praised the base as a valued partner in the local community and challenged the attendees to be creative and find opportunities to expand workforce housing and community infrastructure.

“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,” said Carbajal. “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.”