City Council to to hear opinions on housing plan |

City Council to to hear opinions on housing plan

A public hearing on a $1.5 million HOME grant from the state of California, which would provide money for affordable housing projects and the first time home buyer program, has been set for today by the City Council.

Although the South Lake Tahoe Housing and Economic Development has its sights set on a 19-unit affordable housing project for the disabled at Emerald Bay Road, funds for this grant would not be designated for any particular project. These funds, $1 million for affordable housing, could be used for any affordable housing project.

The city council meets at 6 p.m. in the council chambers, 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

An important point, City Manager David Childs said, considering that some neighbors and businesses in the area have raised concerns about the 19-unit project on Emerald Bay Road.

“The idea is that there is a need for affordable housing, and we need to get our application in, otherwise we won’t have funds for any project,” Childs said.

But even if funds are approved for the project, the city was denied money from a $1.7 million federal grant, which is needed to pay for the proposed 19-unit housing project. The project is estimated to cost between $2 million and $3 million. This, however, does not necessarily deter the city, Accessible Space and the Tahoe Area Coordinating Council all of whom are involved in the proposed project from continuing to pursue it.

“Typically we have to go through several rounds of grant funding, so this is not that unusual for an affordable housing project,” said Patrick Conway, housing and economic development coordinator.

South Lake Tahoe lost federal funding to a 15-unit affordable housing project in Sacramento, but Conway is hopeful that if the state funding comes through, federal funding would be more likely next year.

“Assuming we get the home funds, we will feel that we will be more competitive for the federal funds,” Conway said.

Other funding sources would still be available for the project, but Conway is hopeful that the city will secure state funding this year and federal funding the next, because under these grants the city can provide housing at the cheapest price.

Councilwoman Judy Brown said that she supports funding for affordable housing, but encourages all who disagree with the project to come to the meeting.

“I hope people who have voiced opposition come to the city council to express their views,” she said.

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