WHATT, Truckee will enter a $45,000 housing contract | SierraSun.com

WHATT, Truckee will enter a $45,000 housing contract

The town has supported the Workforce Housing Association of Truckee Tahoe since the group’s inception, but now Truckee will lend a financial hand by sending $45,000 into the affordable housing association’s coffers.

The contract between the housing group and the town, which will be given final authorization at a later council meeting, will fund management of upcoming affordable housing developments.

The town and the housing group characterized the agreement as the beginning of a long-term relationship at Thursday night’s council meeting.

“We’re not really looking at this as an agreement between WHATT and the town … as much as a partnership,” said Breeze Cross, the housing group’s board president.

Truckee Town Manager Tony Lashbrook said the agreement is set up to be renewed year after year if the partnership proves successful.

“This is not a stop-gap measure,” said Lashbrook. “This is not meant to be a short-term agreement if it is successful.”

Over half of the town’s affordable housing funding would go toward an outreach and education system, which both the town and WHATT agree is a necessary precursor to renting and offering for-sale, affordable homes.

The rest of the funding will be used for developing a program that will screen homebuyers to ensure that they meet affordable criteria.

Additionally, individual developers are expected to fund the association’s screening of homebuyers for their affordable housing.

The WHATT officials said they plan to charge homeowners $400 a year for ongoing monitoring to assure the homes are not rented out and that the homeowners continue to meet the requirements of the agreement.

Councilman Richard Anderson said the $400 fee, which was developed by looking at what other housing groups charge, should be monitored closely to assure it is the appropriate charge for an annual review.

“It seems to me what we have right now is a guess,” Anderson said. “My own gut check says, ‘Wow, that is a lot of money for an annual review.’

“The whole idea is to minimize the impacts on these households and not increase them,” he said.

The complete contract will be before the town council for a final approval at a later council meeting.

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