Developer will be selected for workforce houses | SierraSun.com

Developer will be selected for workforce houses

David Bunker
Sierra Sun

It may not look like much right now, but the piece of land between Highway 89 north and Alder Creek Middle School may soon play a critical role in housing Truckee’s workforce.

Armed with a $1.5 million affordable housing grant, the town is moving quickly to select a developer and an engineer for the site. That selection is slated to be finalized at the Truckee Town Council meeting on Thursday, and affordable rental units could be housing low-income residents by next fall, according to town officials.

Truckee officials are recommending the town council choose Pacific West Communities, the developer that will build the employee housing at Gray’s Crossing, to construct the affordable housing. SCO Engineering is the recommended town choice for planning infrastructure construction.

According to grant guidelines the town has to put a minimum of 32 low-income units on the parcel. The town can shoot for more units, and is also planning on adding additional affordable homes ” possibly for-purchase units ” at the location in the future.

John McLaughlin, Truckee community development director, said Pacific West Communities is interested in building factory-made housing, similar to the Gray’s Crossing employee housing, on the land.

“It’s likely, in order to make the project meet the affordability targets, they will be looking at [factory-built] housing,” McLaughlin said.

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Pacific West Communities, a for-profit developer, was competing with one other finalist, nonprofit Bridge Housing, to be chosen as the developer.

The fact that the selected developer is for-profit does not necessarily affect the affordability of construction, said McLaughlin.

“The bottom line is the same,” he said. “You are getting housing at an affordable level.”

The 9.5-acre parcel was donated to the town during the approval process for East West Partners Gray’s Crossing project. Initially the town discussed leaving the parcel as open space. But during Truckee’s General Plan update, the town decided to set it aside for affordable housing.