Too expensive to call home |

Too expensive to call home

Truckee-Tahoe is obviously a desirable place to call home. The question, though, is for whom? Not young renters trying to eke out an existence in the area.

Sierra Sun reporter Sierra Countis told the story recently (“Working 9 to 5 not enough to pay the rent” July 13) of a young couple forced to move away from Truckee because of the cost of living here is just too much. We’ve written dozens of editorials and columns regarding the lack of workforce housing in our region. And we’ll likely write about the issue in the future even though efforts are underway to address the problem.

Still, the plain fact is that many of the service workers from the lake to Truckee eventually come to the unfortunate conclusion that the area is just too expensive to call home.

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment on a local rental housing Web site is $900 a month. Try making that work on $6.75 an hour, California’s minimum wage.

An expert on affordable housing in the region says that many people are spending 50 percent of their median income to live in Truckee.

But even if a person is earning more, it doesn’t necessarily mean there are a whole lot of options. One apartment complex in Truckee has a waiting list of up to two years for a one-bedroom. Other low-income apartment complexes also have long waits.

Granted, high rents are a function of what the market will bear. But in an area rife with seasonal rentals, asking prices are geared largely for people coming in from the outside with money.

That’s exactly why efforts by the Town of Truckee, the Workforce Housing Association of Truckee Tahoe and others to get a realistic rental housing stock on the ground must be supported.

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