TRUCKEE, Calif. – In late June, 29 Community Organizations gathered together to address the acute housing crisis in the North Lake Tahoe region. This gathering represents a long-time partnership and commitment of public agencies, businesses, nonprofits and local networks to accelerate housing solutions in our region. When the Mountain Housing Council (MHC) was established in 2017, as a project of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, the housing crisis was already significantly impacting the community and our economy. Even after making impressive progress in facilitating more workforce housing, launching new programs and securing additional funding, the dynamics during the pandemic exacerbated the issue. As a result, demand is higher and supply is lower than it has been in decades, leading to a deficit of affordable and achievable housing in the region, and some families being stuck in the lurch – even, in some circumstances, at risk of becoming homeless.
The MHC is releasing preliminary data gathered this year as an update of the 2016 Truckee North Tahoe Regional Workforce Housing Needs Assessment. The goal of this data collection was to identify how housing needs in our region have changed in the past several years to best address the region’s current housing needs and the immediate impacts of COVID-19, as well as push efforts to develop innovative strategies to solve the region’s unique housing needs during this acute housing crisis.
Based on the updated Workforce Housing Needs Assessment Update, the following findings emerged:
- The housing shortage identified in 2016 has worsened during the past several years, as conditions have deteriorated for resident workers who are living in inadequate housing, in-commuters who work in the region but are unable to secure appropriate/affordable housing near their place of work, seasonal workers, and the region’s homeless population.
- The region’s total unmet housing need is approximately 9,500 units, representing an increase of more than 1,000 units since the prior 2016 analysis. The “unmet housing need” refers to households, or people who are not able to secure appropriate, affordable housing and therefore are not able to live in our region, as well as people who are currently living in our region but in inadequate housing (i.e., overcrowded, too expensive, in poor condition, homeless).
- Demand is most acute for households earning between 30%-60% and 80 – 120% of the area’s median income (AMI) and, overall, the need is greatest for one and two-bedroom units.
While this data is pulled from regional and state sources with timing gaps, MHC has also surveyed employees and employers in the area for more real-time, on the ground insights to this crisis. We will be releasing that additional data over the coming months with a full report out at our upcoming community meetings on August 25th from 4-6 pm and September 30th from 4-6 pm.
Call to Action:
Participate: In response to this data, MHC and its partners are working to foster sustained partnerships in order to lay the foundation for both temporary and permanent housing solutions. They will be holding virtual community meetings on August 25th from 4-6 pm and September 30th from 4-6 pm in order to discuss the data results with the community. To find out more about these meetings, sign up for Mountain Housing Council’s newsletter at mountainhousingcouncil.org. Our newsletter also provides updates on housing that is opening up throughout the region this year – There are more than 200 affordable units under construction and expected to open this summer and fall in our region.
Give: The Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation and its donors have also created a housing fund. You can support our efforts to accelerate housing solutions for our region by donating to the Housing Solutions Fund.
ABOUT THE MOUNTAIN HOUSING COUNCIL
The Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee (MHC) is a project of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation that brings together 28 diverse partners to accelerate solutions to achievable local housing. The MHC’s goal is to build on the needs identified in the 2016 Truckee North Tahoe Regional Workforce Housing Needs Assessment and tackle the unique and pressing challenges of housing in the North Tahoe-Truckee region, including availability, variety, and affordability.