City council hears action plan for grim housing situation
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The city council heard a presentation from Tahoe Prosperity Center about a housing action plan for South Lake Tahoe.
TPC worked with a consulting firm, WSW Consulting to look at the state of housing in South Lake Tahoe and Stateline and to compile the initiatives and projects different agencies in the area are working on.
WSW Consulting President Wendy Sullivan presented some of her findings to the council and it isn’t much of a surprise that the state of housing looks grim.
According to Sullivan, there are about 32,150 housing units in the South Shore region, 46% of which are occupied full time, that’s down from 61% in 2000. Second home ownership is increasing 1% per year.
Not only is there a lack of available housing, but the housing that is available is not affordable for many of the workforce. Sullivan said many residents are spending 30% or more of their income on housing, many workers are forced to commute and 50% of employers have had employees leave or decline a job because of the lack of housing.
The action plan Sullivan put forward states the region needs 3,290 housing units by 2026 to catch up, with more than 57% of those needing to be below market.
One of the goals is to increase full time residency to 50%. Councilmember Devin Middlebrook asked Sullivan if that goal was too modest. Sullivan said stopping the 1% increase of second homeowners will be hard enough let alone reserving that number.
Many agencies around the region have initiatives but there is no regional housing coordinating entity. TPC will be spending the next year and a half helping to establish a bi-state regional housing coordinating entity that can oversee implementation of the action plan.
In other news, city council also revised the city’s plastic bag-ban policy. The council voted unanimously to adopt the California regulations which are more stringent than the city’s.
In addition, the council discussed adopting more plastic bans in the future, including single-use plastic bottles. There was no decision made on that during the meeting but the council stated their intention to tackle that issue in the near future.
The meeting ended with a closed session to narrow down the candidates for city manager.
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With a season-dictated, tourist-based economy, the North Lake Tahoe workforce faced longstanding affordable housing issues long before Zoom’s subscription fees replaced Bay Area commuters’ bridge tolls.