Opinion: Placer County can learn affordable housing lesson from Truckee | SierraSun.com

Opinion: Placer County can learn affordable housing lesson from Truckee

Editor's Note The author of this reader-submitted opinion column states: "In your report that Truckee will hold their first in a series of workshops on affordable housing, it was stated that 80 percent of Truckee-Tahoe’s “below market-rate housing” is located in the town itself." It should be noted, and was in the article he is referring to, that the claim about 80 percent of the region's below market housing was based on research done by Truckee town staff, and not an independent party.

In your report that Truckee will hold their first in a series of workshops on affordable housing, it was stated that 80 percent of Truckee-Tahoe’s “below market-rate housing” is located in the town itself.

With these workshops, Truckee is continuing to look into policy and development solutions that could possibly address the housing crisis. These actions are a big deal for a municipality of its size, especially when we compare them to the lack of commitment by Placer County to do anything other than rubber-stamp developments that will only increase the need for affordable housing.

Approval of both the Martis Valley West and Squaw Valley Village proposals will only further exacerbate the housing crisis. Neither of the developments come close to providing enough housing for the new jobs they will create, let alone adequately address the current lack of housing inventory for working people.

I invite Placer County to begin to consider what policy they could put forward in addressing the housing crisis. One possibility is to actually hold developers to the rules the county has already made, such as making project proponents provide housing for half of the new jobs created.

The county fell short with approval of Martis Valley West. Instead of providing any housing, Mountainside Partners was instead allowed to pay into some kind of housing slush fund.

It fell short with KSL’s development, allowing the applicant to provide only a fraction of the housing necessary for the total amount of new employees as a product of the water-park and full build out of the project. Mind you, there is a negligible amount of housing for Squaw employees currently.

Thank you, Truckee, for leading by example. We know Placer could learn much from you.

Hamish Gowans

Kings Beach