Letter: Will Measure T solve the housing issue? (opinion) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter: Will Measure T solve the housing issue? (opinion)

When you talk to business owners and renters, they will tell you that the housing shortage is a problem.

When you talk to the people supporting Measure T, they will tell you that this is the solution to that problem. What the Measure T supporters don’t tell you is that there is a cost that you may not like.

So, what is it that the Measure T supporters are not telling you? The city of South Lake Tahoe had paid for a socioeconomic study that estimates that approximately 100 million tourist dollars/year are generated by vacation home rentals (VHR).

Let’s face it: Tourism is Tahoe’s major industry. As the economy recovered from the recession, tourism in Tahoe has increased year after year. VHRs have played a large role contributing to the record levels of tourism. This has been a much-needed economic lift, which created more businesses and more jobs.

Why isn’t there enough housing? A slow growth policy in housing development has exasperated an already existing shortage in the Tahoe home supply. Additionally, primary home ownership has remained low because local wages struggle to compete with second home buyers.

What is the solution? An extreme solution would be to eliminate VHRs to reduce tourism and the workforce. Then there is no need to increase the housing supply.

A more pragmatic solution is being proposed by the Tahoe Prosperity Center. They are developing creative solutions for more workforce housing without threatening our local economy.

Vote NO on Measure T and vote YES to Tahoe Prosperity!

Jim Wire

Zephyr Cove, Nevada