Tahoe Chamber CEO column: Affordable housing vital to our economy (opinion) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe Chamber CEO column: Affordable housing vital to our economy (opinion)

Steve Teshara
Guest Column
Steve Teshara

Businesses and all of us throughout the South Shore are justifiably concerned about the lack of affordable housing for local residents, including those locally employed.

Last year, we at Tahoe Chamber accelerated and diversified our engagement in efforts to identify and pursue solutions. A sustainable economy and community quality of life is at stake.

We led a Chamber TREK last summer to communities in Colorado that have taken significant steps to address their need for affordable resident housing using effective strategies and innovative best practices. We became an active member of the Housing Tahoe Partnership facilitated by the Tahoe Prosperity Center. In the fall, we convened a meeting of those organizations and individuals working on South Shore housing solutions.

As an outcome, Tahoe Chamber helped support the preparation of the Lake Tahoe South Shore Housing Outlook. This publication provides information intended to be useful to local governments, businesses, affordable housing developers, other public and private partners, and our broader community as we pursue solutions that work for the South Shore.

You can view or download this report at tahoechamber.org. Click on Our Work, then Advocacy and Outreach, and Affordable Housing.

You will see that the primary recommended “next steps” involve the funding and preparation of a South Shore Regional Housing Opportunity Assessment and Action Plan. Tahoe Chamber is proud to be solidly behind the need for assessment and subsequent next steps.

In related news, the Tahoe Transportation District Board of Directors voted at its meeting on April 12 to release a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) soliciting responses from affordable housing developers to partner with the district and assist in the construction of transit-oriented development housing units.

Special conditions of the permit issued to TTD by TRPA for the U.S. 50 South Shore Community Revitalization Project require the development of 109 Transit-Oriented Development residential units to serve as replacement housing for the project. One-hundred-and-two of these units are to be deed-restricted for low income residents and seven units shall be deed restricted for moderate income residential.

The TTD Board has established a goal of facilitating the construction of 200 units, well beyond the mitigation requirements of the U.S. 50 project.

For more about Tahoe Chamber’s work with many partners to secure a fresh inventory of affordable resident housing for the South Shore, you can contact me at steve@tahoechamber.org or at 775-588-1728, extension 301.

Steve Teshara is the CEO of the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce.