As many of you know, Mountain Housing Council (MHC) is a coalition of 29 community partners brought together by the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation to accelerate solutions to a housing crisis that threatens the soul of our community.
Families who have lived here for generations are being forced out. Workers in the hospitality and recreation industries are sleeping in their cars. Local businesses, unable to hire enough help, are cutting hours and losing money.
Truckee Artists Lofts and Meadow View Place, two of the 17 Achievable Housing Projects currently available to rent, under construction, or approved for development.
Thankfully, this community began to gather the resources necessary to confront this challenge years ago, and that allowed MHC to respond quickly.
The housing shortage that exploded with the pandemic and the “Zoom Boom” has not abated, nor have our efforts to meet this existential challenge.
MHC and its partners are working toward goals first outlined in 2016 in our Truckee North Tahoe Regional Workforce Housing Needs Assessment and updated in the 2021 Regional Housing Needs Assessment.
Our Housing Solutions Fund has deployed more than $2 million in gap financing for Truckee Artist Lofts and seed funding for the Landing Locals long-term rental platform.
- Truckee Artist Lofts, part of the long-planned Truckee Railyard Project, is providing housing to local individuals and families in 76 apartments, and is the first of what could be more affordable housing projects near the heart of downtown.
- Landing Locals, a platform for long-term rentals that cofounders Kai and Colin Frolich have branded “A Housing Marketplace for Tourist Towns,” now offers homeowners in the Tahoe Truckee region incentives to turn their short-term rentals into long-term rentals. The grant incentives with the Town of Truckee have increased to $18,000 and has expanded to Placer County.
MHC Public-Sector Partners Step Up
- Landing Locals will be able to offer these incentives, one-time grants ranging from $2,000 to $24,000 depending on number of tenants and length of lease, thanks to Placer County and the Town of Truckee.
- Placer County has also revised its building codes to allow movable tiny homes and small “cottage housing.”
Pacific Crest Commons will be developed on 1.72 acres of state-owned land that is the former California Highway Patrol site in Truckee. The state selected the site as part of its obligation to identify excess state-owned land and pursue affordable housing.
Of course, the crisis we are dealing with in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe is part of a much bigger housing shortage. Thankfully, lawmakers in Sacramento are at work on some solutions.
MHC partners and our policy working group have been meeting with legislators and following/supporting some important legislation.
AB 411: Authorizes the issuance of $600 million in bonds to finance the development of affordable rental and transitional housing for veterans, with an emphasis on housing for homeless and extremely low-income veterans.
AB 1911: Creates a new Affordable Housing Preservation Tax Credit to support the preservation of tens of thousands of units of affordable housing that are at risk of converting to market rate or of displacing low-income tenants.
AB 2011: Makes housing developments that meet specified affordability criteria eligible for a streamlined, “ministerial” approval process, and requires that certain wage and labor standards be met.
Talking About Impact
- In May, the MHC Speaker Series addressed the topic “Untangling Tiny Home Regulations,” and featured housing planners Patrick Dobbs of Placer County and Jessica Wackenhut Lomeli of the City of South Lake Tahoe.
In addition to discussing tiny homes and other innovative affordable housing solutions, Dobbs spoke about the County’s new housing-related codes amendments, and its Housing Strategy and Development Plan, which aims to streamline multifamily and mixed-use development.
Wackenhut Lomeli talked about South Lake Tahoe’s 16 housing initiatives, and the tiny home code regulations that were passed in the spring. She also noted that the city is trying to develop a permanent funding stream for affordable housing.
On July 14, the Speaker Series featured Kate Harrison, vice mayor of the City of Berkeley, who discussed a topic with deep relevance in the Tahoe Truckee region: “Vacant-home taxes: Can they help with the housing crisis?”
Should our municipalities tax the owners of multi-unit buildings, single-family homes and condominiums owned by a corporation or LLC that have been empty for more than a year to encourage property owners to rent out empty units?
Mountain Housing Council Events & News
Homelessness an issue in North Lake Tahoe
(Tahoe Daily Tribune)
What Can You Do?
Let Landing Locals find a local renter for your home.
This Tahoe-based service, “The Local Housing Marketplace for Tourist Towns,” takes care of all the details, including screening.
Build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on your property.
Several Tahoe Truckee area municipalities have changed their regulations to make it easier for homeowners to build ADUs.
Show up for public meetings.
Various jurisdictions, including the Town of Truckee, Placer County, Nevada County, and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, are at work on our housing crisis. All of them hold public meetings (accessible via video or streaming service), and your voice can help make a difference.