Grand Jury commends town’s housing efforts | SierraSun.com

Grand Jury commends town’s housing efforts

Sierra Sun Staff Reports

Staff ReportsTruckee got a pat on the back from the Nevada County Civil Grand Jury looking into the town’s affordable housing efforts.The county’s grand jury examined Truckee, Nevada City and Grass Valley, giving Truckee the highest marks for topping or meeting its goals to build affordable housing for low-income families. Between 1994 and 2003, the town added 100 units for families that earn less than $29,500 and another 100 residences for families earning under $47,200.Truckee, however, did miss its moderate income housing goals, largely due to the absence of unsubsidized rentals and a climbing housing market that puts market-rate housing in the “above moderate” category, the report said.The 19-member citizen panel evaluated Nevada County’s housing policies last year and decided to focus its attention this year on the two western Nevada County cities and Truckee.Civil grand juries issue periodic reports, which are crafted by volunteers who spend one year investigating public agencies and processes.The grand jury analyzed the cities’ housing elements, which are required by the state to plan for, but not necessarily construct, affordable housing.The report also noted that Town of Truckee fees add up to $22,594 for a 2,000-square-foot home, which spurs a rise in market-rate housing. But the jury praised Truckee for committing to reducing or waiving these fees for affordable housing projects.Overall, Truckee Community Development Director Tony Lashbrook said that the report encouraged the town in efforts that are already underway. “Basically all that it says is, ‘you should implement your housing element,'” Lashbrook said. The Truckee Town Council is required to respond to the grand jury report by Oct. 4. The report is available at http://www.civilgrandjury.com on the Web.