KINGS BEACH, Calif. — North Lake Tahoe homeowners could soon earn up to $24,000 by offering their property as a long-term rental to local workers.
The Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday advanced a proposed $95,000 agreement with Truckee-based firm Landing Locals to market and administer the one-year Lease to Locals pilot program.
The board is scheduled to consider final adoption of the program and a budget amendment providing up to $405,000 in funding for grants to participating homeowners with underused properties in the coming weeks. Funding is proposed to come from local lodging tax revenues.
“We continue to have such a desperate need for more workforce housing in North Lake Tahoe, and yet so many of the homes here sit vacant for much if not most of the year,” said Board Chair and District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “It’s clear that in other mountain resort communities incentives like this have been the key to unlocking more homes for local workers and we’re eager to see that play out here, too.”
Under the proposal, property owners may offer their property for seasonal leases of between five and 12 months or long-term for 12 months or more, with incentive amounts varying by the length of lease and number of tenants.
Placer would join the Town of Truckee in partnering with Landing Locals, which recently extended its own program after exceeding its goal by providing 56 grants and housing 112 residents.
Landing Locals has since expanded to serve other mountain resort communities in South Lake Tahoe and Summit County, Colorado.
If the program is approved and launches as planned Aug. 1, Landing Locals would work with homeowners to guide them through the process of qualifying for the grant, including listing the property on the Landing Locals website where they can connect with local tenants seeking housing.
Placer County would provide the grants once leases are signed and Landing Locals would handle all of the qualifying of tenants and landlords. Half the grant would be provided when the lease is signed, and the other half at the end of the lease upon verification of tenancy. Lease agreements would be between the homeowner and the tenant.
To qualify for the program, a property must be located in unincorporated Placer County within the boundaries of its East Placer Transient Occupancy Tax District. To be eligible, units cannot have been rented long-term within the past 18 months.
Property owners would need to submit an application, sign a lease with qualifying tenants, and undergo lease checks to ensure they are in compliance.
A prospective tenant must be an adult employed at least 20 hours per week at an employment site within the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District geographical boundary, who is not of blood relation to the property owner.
Tenants and homeowners can learn more about the program and, if approved, fill out online applications by going to https://landinglocals.com/NorthLakeTahoe/ or by calling Landing Locals at 530-448-8179 or emailing them at email@example.com.
California’s ongoing housing crisis has been especially acute in eastern Placer County, where more than 65% of residences zoned for single-family homes are used as second homes and short-term rentals, according to a 2021 study by the Mountain Housing Council.
The Lease to Locals program is the latest in a series of recent Placer County initiatives to address local housing challenges. Last year it launched the Workforce Housing Preservation Program, providing local workers with up to $150,000 in mortgage down payment assistance to ensure their home continues to house local workers.
Since the Board of Supervisors approved the county’s first-ever housing work plan in 2017, the county has also partnered with affordable housing developers to build 84 new workforce housing units in North Lake Tahoe, and 160 more are under construction now or in planning phases.
This includes Hopkins Village, a new for-sale development, and the Dollar Creek Crossing project, expected to offer a range of for-rent and for-purchase homes and apartments across income ranges.
County housing staff are also working on developing a proposed long-term rental program in west Placer to incentivize renting to local college students.