Truckee housing project delayed after missing out on state tax credit | SierraSun.com

Truckee housing project delayed after missing out on state tax credit

A rendering of a balcony view from an apartment planned as part of phase one of the Truckee Railyard project.
Courtesy Holliday Development

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Local creatives hoping to find housing in the Truckee Artist Lofts may have to wait a little longer before construction can begin on the new building.

Truckee Town Council agreed earlier this year to prioritize the land use application for the lofts — which are part of the larger Railyard development — so the developer could meet a June deadline to apply for a low-income housing tax credit from the state.

However, when award recipients were announced in September, the Truckee Artist Lofts were not on the list.

“It’s not going to start until they get the tax credits, so it’s kind of idle,” Truckee Town Manager Tony Lashbrook said this week.

He said that tax credits are a vital part of building affordable housing, because without funding assistance, it’s simply not viable for developers to build market-rate and below-market-rate homes.

The 77-unit Truckee Artist Lofts consist of 67 affordable housing rental units, priced below market rate, to help meet the town’s need for workforce housing. The remaining 10 rental units will be priced at market rate, according to the project.

According to documents filed with the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, the Artist Lofts would have received $1.9 million in annual federal tax credits if the application this year was approved.

Previous articles from the Sun price the four-story, mixed-use building at $28.5 million, with $14 million of that coming in the form of grants tied to affordable housing.

The project’s developer, Ali Youssefi of CFY Development, did not respond to the Sun’s attempts to reach him for comment on this story.

In an earlier interview with the Sun, Youssefi said the low-income housing tax credit application process was very competitive.

On Wednesday, Lashbrook told the Sun the developer does plan to reapply for the credit, but because of restrictions on when construction can occur due to the weather, it is unlikely the project will break ground anytime soon.

He said that ideally, infrastructure work would begin next season and construction would begin the following year, but he added that the timeline isn’t up to the town.

“We’re not really in control of that and they have the permit they need from us,” he said.

The Truckee Artist Lofts are part of the three-phase Railyard Redevelopment Plan, which is expected to eventually include a 3-screen movie theater with an amphitheater for live performances, as well as retail and commercial space.

A previous version of the plan included relocating the site’s balloon track, but an amendment approved this summer states the track will remain on the property.