Workforce housing a priority for Placer County

Placer County Board of Supervisors this week approved a comprehensive plan to address the growing lack of affordable and workforce housing.

In North Lake Tahoe as much as 65 percent of the housing stock is vacation homes, often occupied only seasonally. Since much of its local workforce is employed in the service industry, providing workforce housing is a requirement for new housing development in the region.

The one-year work plan includes actions to increase the supply of affordable housing in the near- and long-terms and further reduce the regulatory barriers to build housing.

Staff will inventory all recent or planned housing developments in the county to assess where each stands on meeting its affordable or workforce housing obligations.

The plan includes: creating more incentives to build affordable and workforce housing, changing regulations to make building easier, advocating for state and federal assistance and furthering partnerships for meeting regional housing needs, and creating a funding strategy to build more affordable housing.

Options include dedicating transient occupancy tax revenue to fund workforce housing, or possibly developing an in-lieu fee program as an alternative way for developers to satisfy their affordable housing obligations.

Several board members expressed reluctance to pursue a fee program right away, favoring regulatory changes and incentives as better first steps.

— Lake Tahoe News staff report

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