In the North Tahoe-Truckee region, there is a staggering need for more housing at every income level, from homeless to middle-income salary earners. As our community works to fill the need, we share our top 5 reasons why housing matters.
- Housing is safe shelter from the elements. Let’s start with the obvious, but sometimes overlooked issue. Housing provides a safe shelter from our region’s extreme weather. It’s not easy to build homes that are affordable, safe and strong. Residents in the Tahoe-Truckee region deserve affordable homes that protect them from the elements.
- Affordable housing supports a stable, healthy community. In our region, median home price is nowhere near what our median income can afford. When residents spend more than 33% of their income on housing, spending on necessities like nutrition, health care, childcare, education and transportation become much less attainable. In turn, housing instability can seriously jeopardize children’s performance and success in school, and contribute to long-lasting achievement gaps.
- Diverse housing creates a diverse community. According to the Truckee North Tahoe Regional Workforce Housing Needs Assessment, 59% of the North Tahoe-Truckee workforce lives outside the region and only 53% of North Tahoe-Truckee residents work within the region. When a large number of local residents commute a long way from home, they have less time to invest in civic and social activities in their place of residence.
- Access to achievable housing supports a healthy economy. Attracting and retaining a workforce is important to the economic growth of a community. Access to diverse housing options allows families to achieve gains in areas such as education and employment that can lead to improved economic mobility. Yet as home and rental prices rise, many are forced out to seek housing farther away. Without individuals across the economic spectrum, we ask, who will put out fires, who will teach children, who will restock grocery stores and work in our restaurants?
- Local workforce housing also reduces environmental impacts. Well designed and located housing not only helps the resident, but also the greater community. Affordable housing located near public mass transit can help low-income residents save money, access better jobs, improve health and reach critical community services. It can contribute to less vehicle miles travelled, air pollution, traffic congestion and stress too!
The Mountain Housing Council believes that when people have a quality, affordable, and, most importantly, stable home, it has a ripple effect, translating into improvements in their health, education, and in children’s well-being.