New H2B worker housing facilities sought

GVB President Carl Gutierrez (PNC file photo)

Guam Visitors Bureau President Carl Gutierrez, putting on his other hat as the governor’s economic adviser, is seeking to fast-track permitting approvals for the development of temporary worker housing facilities.

According to Gutierrez, there are as many as 2500 H2B workers requiring housing. He said having centralized housing facilities for them would be better than the alternative of scattering them in the northern part of the island among several apartment buildings and homes.

“Besides, if they’re in one setting, that makes it easy for them to be able to travel to their job sites, to eat, socialize, and stay out of, you know … congesting, the community. Can you imagine the 500 people staying in apartments around the island? It’s just not going to be safe and healthy,” Gutierrez said.

The former governor said the Guam Land Use Commission needs to approve the long-overdue permitting process meetings even if only via teleconference.

According to Gutierrez, Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio is already working to help fast-track this initiative to stem a possible workforce residency crisis and before workers wind up living in those small, cramped, and separate living areas.