Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation CEO Stacy Caldwell, who leads the Mountain Housing Council, recently penned an opinion piece for Moonshine Ink about the regional housing crisis. Read on to see her thoughts on how it will take the involvement of our entire community to solve our housing issues.
By STACY CALDWELL
At a recent Placer County Board of Supervisors meeting, after delivering a presentation on housing, I sat down and listened to a parade of speakers tell their own stories of the housing crisis.
Sean Barclay, general manager of the Tahoe City Public Utility District got up and talked about not being able to live in the community he serves.
“We got tired of chasing rentals, and moved to Reno,” said Barclay.
JT Chevalier, executive director of the Tahoe City Downtown Association, wondered how long he’d be able to survive in the area.
“I am a 31-year-old and I want to own a house here,” said Chevalier. But after years of seeing skyrocketing prices and shrinking housing options, he said, “Honestly, it is a pretty bleak future.”
And then there was Alex Mourelatos of Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort challenging the audience and county supervisors to look around at the young professionals in the room, and to “be prepared to say goodbye to them in four years” because they “won’t be here because they can’t live here.”
I’ve been immersed in housing issues for the past two years. But that meeting hammered home what we all know — housing is everything. It is community. It is education. It is fire department response times and after-school programs. It is seeing a familiar face at a local concert and a friendly server at your favorite restaurant. Without housing our community crumbles.
In the room and behind the scenes are the partners and leaders of the Mountain Housing Council. Twenty-nine organizations — public agencies, home owners associations, and corporations — have banded together to accelerate “achievable local housing” solutions. They have committed their top leadership ranks to the group and are dedicating resources to consider policy, land, and funding toward potential solutions. Together, we are collaborating, facilitating, and engaging each other and the community. We’ve crisscrossed the community giving presentations, advocating for funding, and developing solutions and strategy. At times, we are overwhelmed by the scale of the problem, but more often we are inspired by the community support.
In our first year, we celebrate real results. Together we have helped a handful of developments move forward by working together, thinking creatively, advocating for funding, and educating our community. With 342 new units moving forward and more than $40 million in financial capital attracted to support those efforts, we are on our way. Yet, still more is needed, and it is never fast enough.
Read the rest of the article at http://www.moonshineink.com/opinion/our-community%E2%80%99s-future-depends-housing