Affordable housing work falls to others | SierraSun.com

Affordable housing work falls to others

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun
Seth Lightcap/Sierra SunFrishman Hollow, Truckee's latest affordable housing development, is nearly completed but questions remain as to what organization will fill the units with tenants upon the departure of the Workforce Housing Association of Truckee Tahoe as the local authority.
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With the Workforce Housing Association of Truckee shut down, the Town of Truckee is looking to other options to keep affordable housing accessible to the community.

WHATT suspended operations at the end of June citing a lack of revenue resulting from the weakened housing market. Now town officials have taken on some of the roles performed by the group, and are looking to other community organizations to help keep affordable housing information available.

“For now the best resource is town staff ” myself, Duane Hall, and John McLaughlin,” said David Griffith, redevelopment and housing coordinator for the town.

Beyond providing information about affordable housing and helping people find the right types of housing, the association had actually partnered with developers on projects like Frishman Hollow, however.

“There primary role was assisting in the initial lease-up,” said Andrea Clark of Pacific West Communities. “It doesn’t affect the project but we will miss WHATT’s partnership.”

While Clark said the development won’t be affected, the community will.

“We won’t have those local eyes and ears on the ground, and it’s sad for the community as well,” Clark said.

But Griffith said the town is talking to the Family Resource Center of Truckee to help fill that role of an approachable organization.

“They could provide general information and maybe advocacy,” Griffith said.

While the Family Resource Center and the town haven’t hashed out the details or agreed on a contract, Adela Gonzalez del Valle, executive director for the group, said the board believes it’s the right thing to do.

“We already refer families to affordable housing in town,” Del Valle said. “We didn’t work with development because WHATT did, but we are now looking to see how we might be able to do that portion.”

Stephanie Rogerson, director of the Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee, said with the services already provided, affordable housing would make sense.

“WHATT provided a one-stop-shop for families,” Rogerson said. “We have an opportunity for families to not only seek support in other areas but also in affordable housing at the same time.”

Meanwhile the town is also looking to expand the affordable housing Web site, accessible from http://www.townoftruckee.com, to provide more information to the public, Griffith said.