The Tahoe Prosperity Center recently completed Phase 1 of South Shore Housing Needs and Opportunities Assessment and Action Plan and while the housing situation in South Lake Tahoe does not look great, there are solutions and feedback is being sought.
The action plan is meant to address the issue of the lack of housing opportunities for people who work in the South Shore.
According to the assessment, resident-occupancy has dropped to 46% in 2017 from 61% in 2000. On the other hand, second homeownership and vacation homes was at 47% in 2017 and has been steadily rising at the rate of over 1% per year.
There are some homes available but the average worker in South Lake Tahoe can’t afford them.
The median sale price for a single-family home in 2018/19 was $524,775. The income needed to afford the median priced house is $133,800 while the actual median household income is $68,000.
That’s just homeownership, the numbers for renting are just as bad. Rental vacancy rates in winter are at nearly 0%. Because the demand is so high, property owners have no incentive to keep up the quality of their properties. About one-third of renters are dissatisfied with the condition of their rental.
According to the assessment, about 3,290 housing units are needed to address the current housing shortages and keep up with future demand.
While these numbers are grim, the Tahoe Prosperity Center along with other partners is hopeful that there are solutions available. The Prosperity Center said the City of South Lake Tahoe Council, El Dorado County Board of Supervisors and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board has made housing a top priority.
Other partners, including the Tahoe Transportation District and The California Tahoe Conservancy are actively working to provide more housing.
Since new development opportunities are limited in the area, other solutions need to be considered, like redevelopment, repurposing of existing homes and structures, and renter and homeowner assistance programs.
Phase 1 of the project was assessment, now Tahoe Prosperity Center will begin working to develop an action plan.
They are asking for feedback from the community and will host two public open houses at the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel. The first will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the second will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
To read the report, visit tahoeprosperity.org/housing-tahoe.