Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation uses impact investing to help bring affordable housing to preserve Truckee’s creative sector
With most of California in a dire housing crisis, it’s surprisingly difficult to get a housing project to break ground. Housing is expensive to develop and to target low-income workers requires subsidies. The State of California offers competitive grants and tax credits to incentivize these projects; to win these dollars, however, communities have to get creative.
Rural regions have a particularly difficult time cobbling these funds together because of the challenge in finding viable and willing funding partners. In order to compete for California’s housing funds, a project must demonstrate community support. This support, often referred to as “soft financing”, signifies that the community is raising real dollars in support of a project.
In 2016, a collective of partners began working to secure the community support dollars to compete for the tax credits, the Town of Truckee, Martis Fund, and Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF). Together over 3 years, they helped raise $3.7 million.
TTCF played a role in facilitating the philanthropic dollars from the Martis Fund, a private donor, and a $250,000 commitment from TTCF’s funds. Structured as a recoverable loan, the philanthropic dollars will be paid back over time by the project and returned into the Housing Solutions Fund for more regional housing efforts.
It takes a collective commitment of all the public, private and philanthropic partners to play a role in helping the financing work for these projects to move forward.
The Housing Solutions Fund at TTCF represents the first impact investing fund dedicated to impact investing for local achievable housing.
“We believe this is a model that can be replicated to accelerate housing in our region and beyond. In fact, as a Community Foundation, we intend to apply this innovative model to other areas of impact that we seek.” – Stacy Caldwell, CEO
After twelve years, the Truckee Railyard Project in historic downtown Truckee, CA, finally broke ground in June 2018. Holliday Development, the master developer, conceptualized the project to enrich the downtown area with a multi-room theater, grocery store, brewpub, and more. As of June 12, 2019, the project received the tax credits it needs to move forward with its 77-unit affordable housing development, the Truckee Railyard Artist Lofts. Sacramento-based CFY Development Inc. was engaged to head the Truckee Railyard Artist Lofts aimed at preserving Truckee’s creative sector and workforce.
Truckee Railyard Artist Lofts Details
TAL (Truckee Artist Lofts) is a mixed-use, affordable housing community for artists and local workforce, located at the Truckee Railyard Project in downtown Truckee. It will include 76 income-restricted rental apartments, ranging from studios to three-bedroom units, and ground floor commercial/retail space.
State Tax Credit Project with soft financing from various local partners to compete for state tax credits
Range for rents and AMI targets for rents 76 units ranging from 30% to 80% AMI (Very low up to low income)
Mix of studios and 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom apartments
Rents are set by the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee. In 2019, rents ranged from a low of $370 for a 30% AMI studio to $1,500 for an 80% AMI 3-bedroom unit with most units in the $650 to $850 range. Learn more about the Truckee Artists Lofts on the Town of Truckee website.