I rent out my original Coronado “Billy Box” to long-term Navy tenants. The $4000+ monthly rent covers my mortgage and has not been empty for more than 1 week in 10 years. This year, I received inquiries from many Navy families coming from overseas who cannot find a place to live in Coronado. I know generous and caring Coronadans are looking for ways to help our community cope with COVID 19 effects. If those of us that own or manage real state currently rented as “summer rentals” changed to long-term rentals, we would be doing our part to help Coronado return to “normal” sooner.

The City of Coronado, the U.S. Navy and the tourist industry have developed together in Coronado. The relationship between our economic engines has changed. Amidst the abrupt stop of the Coronado’s tourist industry, including the temporary closure of hotels, including our oldest name sake hotel for the first time in its 130+ year history, our city’s second economic engine, our largest employer and landowner, the U.S. Navy, remains open and service members keep working.

By definition the vast majority of military personnel are considered “essential personnel.” Active duty Navy personnel continue to receive permanent change of station (PCS) orders, despite travel restrictions on other activities. Many active duty personnel are scheduled to leave Coronado and their replacements start to arrive this summer in June and July. Summer transfers, the Navy’s largest window of PCS moves, allows families to get settled in new school districts before the Fall classes begin. However, there is a shortage of homes for those being transferred to Coronado.

Many Coronado homeowners no longer rent to long-term Navy families. This prevents active duty service members who work on the base from fully appreciating how Navy activities affect residents and has negatively impacted our school district which strives to provide long-term stability to teachers and programs. My family rented when I first received orders to Coronado years ago; my family was able several years later to purchase a home and then settled here permanently. Twenty years later, many homeowners have turned to short-term rentals in response to the ever-demanding Coronado summer rental market. This has negatively affected Coronado. Now that the 4th of July parade and summer concert season have been cancelled, I propose a new “community rebuilding” effort this summer. Rather than waiting for the summer crowd to come back, property owners can use this opportunity to rent vacant homes to Navy families receiving orders to Coronado. Renting for two or three years to a Navy Family helps the Coronado community by:

Providing both Landlord and active duty service member Tenant, with a first-hand understanding of how Navy activities effect the community and vice-versa.

Decreasing the turnover of individuals living in our residential neighborhoods where many residents are self-isolating for health reasons beyond local guidelines.

Cutting down on rush hour bridge traffic because the active duty person will already be residing here.

Helping maintain sufficient student populations to keep existing school district programs and staff numbers consistent.

Allowing our hotels to pick up previously lost business as they struggle to reopen after abrupt closure.

Americans have risen to the challenge in large numbers to stay at home to help the more vulnerable in our communities and our hospitals cope with increasing demands. Some of us have the opportunity to do more to help “essential personnel’ who put their lives on the line every day for us, by opening up long-term rental property to active duty service member families. We are all in this challenge together. Navy families are asking for our/your help.

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