Moonshine Ink Takes a Close Look at Short Term Rentals

Moonshine Ink covered the complicated topic of short term rentals in its April 2018 issue, looking at how short term rentals play into the larger housing picture for the Truckee North Lake Tahoe Region.

Photo by Jeremy Jensen/Moonshine Ink

Quoting Mountain Housing Council staff and Council members, the article takes a look at the types of people who rent homes or rooms out as short term rentals, how it potentially affects availability of long-term rentals, as well as some of the potential policies and actions used elsewhere and considered here.

Click here to read the full story, and don’t miss the Mountain Housing Council’s Annual Housing Update on April 28, which will include a discussion panel on short term rentals.

Share Your Idea: Mountain Housing Solutions Pitch

Are you passionate about housing? Do you have a creative solution that you think could make a difference in the lives of the people who live here? Do you know what you need to make it a reality?

On April 28th, we want to hear your ideas. Join the Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee (MHC) at its Annual Housing Update and pitch your solution to neighbors, friends, and regional leaders. A solution that generates enough interest to form a community cohort will be selected to receive MHC support as you explore your concept with your team.

Creative and innovative ideas arise when community members participate in active problem-solving. The MHC wants to provide meeting spaces, in-kind resources, and consulting to help a cohort of community members explore the viability of a promising potential solution.

The solution should naturally spur engagement from many community members who are excited to commit their time and creativity towards making a housing solution come to life. You’ll have 2 minutes for your pitch at the end of the April 28th event. Stay afterwards and see who is interested in realizing your vision. Pitches will be recorded and posted online to see how the community responds. The winning solution will be chosen and the person who pitched it will be notified within four weeks.

What: Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee Annual Housing Update
When: April 28, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: North Tahoe Event Center, 8318 North Lake Blvd, Kings Beach, CA 96143

Click here to RSVP for the meeting

Employer Solutions for Employee Housing

Businesses throughout the North Lake Tahoe-Truckee Region are struggling with attracting and retaining employees because of the housing crisis in the area.

The Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee, a collaboration of 28 regional stakeholders, powered by the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, is inspired by the creativity and problem solving displayed by many local employers stepping up to find housing for their employees. Below are the top five things employers can do to help with housing.

Master lease
Business owners and employers have begun implementing master lease programs. Establishing relationships with either individual property owners, or a property management business, those employers lease properties and then sub-lease to their employees. By taking on fiscal responsibility and guaranteeing that the homes will be well maintained, employers can secure housing that may not have otherwise been part of the long-term rental market.
This solution requires dedicated staff time, community minded property owners, a contract and regular communication between all parties.
Two examples of this are Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows and Tahoe Donner:

Mortgage Assistance
Businesses with employees interested in purchasing a home can act as a silent second on a mortgage for employees that otherwise don’t have the financial wherewithal needed.
Katie Rice with Guild Mortgage has been a resource for the Mountain Housing Council on this subject, and can be contacted here.

Leveraging Existing Reserve Funds for Loans
Some businesses are leveraging their reserve funds to offer loans to employees or helping with the first and last month rent and deposits often required in rental agreements. Often, the return on investment is higher from the loan than a typical reserve fund investment, creating a win-win situation.
Donald Terry, Director of Real Estate Development for NeighborWorks, presented on this to the Mountain Housing Council. See his presentation here.

Build or Buy
Employers with the capital are building or buying housing for their employees. Quality Automotive and Smog is adding housing to their new planned location, Andrew Laughlin of Tahoe City Kayaks bought an apartment building and Dave Wilderotter of Tahoe Dave’s bought property in Truckee and Sugar Bowl purchased a lodge for employee housing.

Make connections
Many established business owners and managers in the region have developed relationships that can be used to find housing. Simply connecting a friend that has a rental unit, mother-in-law unit or room for rent with an employee can go a long way.

Have you created your own employee housing solutions? The Mountain Housing Council would like to hear about it. Contact us with your story or with any questions about potential housing solutions, or join us on April 28 at our Annual Housing Update for the solutions pitch.

Tahoe Quarterly Covers Mountain Housing Council

Local Author Tim Hauserman took some time to speak with a few of the founding members of the Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee to learn about the formation of the Council, the housing crisis and potential solutions.

Photo by Tim Hauserman

“The question “Is there a housing crisis?” elicits a hearty eye roll and a “Duh” from any local who has attempted to find rental housing in the Tahoe region,” Hauserman writes. “Even if you are snug in your own Tahoe home, the crisis is obvious.”

He also talked to Tahoe Prosperity Center, which has some housing efforts complementary to the work of the Mountain Housing Council.

Click here to read the article.

January Housing Wins

The Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee, Town of Truckee and Placer County took significant steps toward housing solutions at the beginning of 2018.

The Mountain Housing Council, comprised of 25 local agencies, nonprofits, and businesses, unanimously passed policy recommendation to adopt a new definition on Jan. 12 for achievable local housing, which goes beyond traditional affordable housing definitions to include those income levels that are unable to afford housing in the region.

“This is an important step forward in addressing the real needs in the North Tahoe-Truckee region,” said Stacy Caldwell, Chief Executive Officer of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, which facilitates the council. “This will help address the critical needs of low income residents, as well as those households in our region who find themselves in the middle income brackets – the teachers, police, firefighters, and young professionals that still can’t afford housing here.”

It will be up to each individual agency to decide if and how to implement this new policy recommendation for an expanded definition of affordability.

Additionally, both Placer County’s Board of Supervisors and Truckee’s Town Council approved a memorandum of understanding Jan. 9 with Neighborhood Partners LLC in support of $16 million in state Cap and Trade grant funding (Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program) for the already approved 56-unit affordable housing project called Meadow View Place in Schaffer’s Mill.

“This decision shows a real commitment to work together and to further transportation and housing,” said Luke Watkins of Neighborhood Partners LLC. “This is a great partnership with the town and county, and the Mountain Housing Council should be thanked for facilitating it.”

If the project is awarded the grant, the project could break ground as soon as spring of 2019, Watkins said.

Also on Jan. 9, Truckee Town Council passed its annual update to traffic impact fees and facilities fees charged to new development, changing the fee structure to a per-square-foot basis, rather than per-unit basis.

“The primary goal of this change is to incentivize smaller unit types,” said Town Manager Jeff Loux. “We recognize that this may seem like a small change, but we believe it is actually a pretty significant move, and we hope other agencies will follow.”

The Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe, which had initial concerns with technical aspects of the change, strongly supported the update after working with town staff.

“I have to give a lot of credit to town staff for really being on top of it and giving this high priority,” said Pat Davison, Government Affairs Manager for the Contractors Association. “We hope this does turn into some actual housing on the ground.”




Moonshine Ink: Families on the Brink

Photo by Jeremy Jensen/Moonshine Ink.

Local newspaper Moonshine Ink recently published a poignant story by David Bunker on the challenges long-time locals are facing in one of the Tahoe-Truckee Region’s many mobile home parks. Read the article here.

There are close to 1,000 mobile homes in the North-Tahoe Truckee Region, and they are a critical piece of the achievable local housing landscape, necessary to serve the diverse needs of our residents. Each mobile home park is different in who they serve and who owns them.

The Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee has created an Ad-Hoc team to work on the specific issues of mobile homes as they pertain to achievable housing. If you have insight, input or are interested in joining the committee, please contact us here.

An LA Developer’s Ideas on Affordable Housing

In our ongoing efforts to accelerate local housing solutions, the Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee studies what other communities are doing and what other experts are saying.

Multiple sources have sent us an editorial by Housing for LA titled 25 Solutions From A Builder’s Perspective To Fix The California Housing Crisis. It’s a good read for anybody interested in achievable housing issues. While a large urban area like Los Angeles is different than our rural region, we picked out a few items on their list that connect with our challenges and our potential solutions.

Click the image to view the original article

2) “Stop Killing Housing By Delaying Approvals” – One of the policy areas Mountain Housing Council is working on is shortening or streamlining the approval process for achievable housing projects. Click here to see what the Innovative Policy Team is working on.

3) “Create New Zones For Missing Middle Housing” – Zoning changes is one possible outcome of the unanimously-adopted expanded definition of local achievable housing passed by the Council January 2018. For those that don’t know, the missing middle is those who make too much to qualify for state and federally funded affordable housing (up to 120 percent of the median income), but too little to afford market rate housing (in Tahoe-Truckee area, around 195 percent of median income).

5) “We Must Woo The Publicly Traded Homebuidlers Back to California” – While that’s more of a state-sized problem, locally there’s been discussion of builders who’ve picked up stakes and followed the booming growth occurring in the Reno area, just across the state line.

10) “Be Very Careful Adding New Fees to Developments That Create New Housing” – Fees are an area Mountain Housing Council tiger teams and consultants are reviewing very closely. The Town of Truckee recently passed an update to impact fees – making them on a per square foot basis rather than per unit basis – with the idea of reducing obstacles to smaller, more affordable units.

12) “Incentivize and Remove Planning Approvals for as much Affordable Housing As Possible” – Like number two, this goes back to the work of the Policy Tiger Team, working on ways to streamline approval processes.

19) “Digitize and Open Source Zoning Information for all Property in California” – Another state-sized project, but the Mapping Tiger Team is working to identify land that could be used for achievable housing throughout the region. The team is looking at public and private land, planning a tour with developers and real estate professionals to assess the different parcels.

To see the entire list of 25 ideas, go to the article on by clicking  here.

Important Housing Topics Go Before Truckee, Placer January 9

Four items go before the Placer County Board of Supervisors and Truckee Town Council related to achievable housing. These meetings are an opportunity for public comment and input. 

Placer County Board of Supervisors Jan 9th Meeting: Summary of Housing Agenda Topic

Placer County’s Board of Supervisors will decide January 9 on a memorandum of understanding regarding funding for Meadow View Place, a 56-unit affordable housing project as part of the Schaffer’s Mill Subdivision.

Project developer Neighborhood Partners LLC is applying for approximately $16 million from the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program, which is State Cap and Trade funding used to support infill development and encourage public and non-motorized transportation usage with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In order for the development to meet grant requirements, the Placer County Board of Supervisors is considering a memorandum of understanding which would include expansion of sustainable transportation infrastructure, including the purchase of electric transit vehicles, infrastructure, bike trail development and increasing bus services from every hour to 30 minute runs.

Placer County’s Board of Supervisors will discuss this at their January 9 meeting which starts at 9 a.m. at the County Administrative Center in Auburn. Those who are interested in listening and commenting can attend remotely from the Placer County Tahoe City Administrative Center, 775 N. Lake Blvd.

Can’t make the meeting but want to submit a comment?

Deadline to submit written comment: Monday, Jan 8 by noon
Send to Board Clerk: Megan Wood.

Click here to view the materials that will go before the Board of Supervisors.

About the Project

Meadow View Place, formerly known as Schaffer’s Mill Affordable Housing, will include 14 one-bedroom, 28 two-bedroom and 14 three-bedroom units.

Each building will have solar panels to achieve a zero-net-energy usage level.

Target resident population is individuals and families that are employed in local industries.

The development is located 1/2 mile southwest of the intersection of Highway 267 and Schaffer Mill Road.

Other proposed funding sources include tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds and 4 percent federal low income housing tax credits.

Town of Truckee Jan 9th Council Meeting: Summary of Housing Agenda Items

Truckee Town Council will also consider a memorandum of understanding with Neighborhood Partners LLC on the Meadow View Place development described above, along with a moderate income project at Gray’s Crossing and a new fee structure.

First, Town Council will consider a memorandum of understanding similar to that described above with Placer County, to include transit center and other transportation related improvements for the Meadow View Place grant application.

Second, Town Council will consider a minor zoning change to an 89-lot moderate income project at Gray’s Crossing.

Third, Town Council will consider an update and restructuring of traffic impact and facilities fees charged to new development by the Town. It proposes to change the fees to a square footage basis, rather than a per-unit basis.

Truckee Town Council will meet January 9 at 6 p.m. at Truckee Town Hall. Those who cannot attend can send comments to To see the agenda and council packet, click here.

Ski Area Solutions for Housing: Tiny Homes Campground Project

Housing Inspiration Webinar #1

Aspen Ski Company’s Philip Jeffreys presented on an innovative project with 40 tiny homes in a campground housing 102 seasonal employees at a November webinar.

Jeffreys detailed the thought housing issues that Aspen is facing, the thought process they went through in addressing employee housing, the hurtles, challenges and solutions. Roughly 30 attendees of the webinar, including Tahoe-Truckee ski area representatives, US Forest Service representatives, agency staff, elected officials and others tuned in live, asking questions addressed by Jeffreys at the end of the presentation.

Watch a video replay of the webinar here:

Click here for a background video on the project.

Sign up for Mountain Housing Council’s email list below to be notified of future webinars and meetings like this one.