Laurie Johnson

Available Grants for Local Housing Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe and Truckee have become a world-class destination for tourists and second home owners. Many part-time residents offer their homes as a vacation rental to offset costs. With escalating home prices, driven by a huge demand, many of the locals are getting squeezed out of the housing market.

Placer County, the Town of Truckee, the state of California and even TRPA are actively putting incentive programs together to increase local housing availability.

What most visitors don’t realize is that to keep schools open and services running requires a workforce of people who live in the area. Placer County and Truckee have both enacted short-term rental ordinances that provide a limited amount of permits for vacation rentals. Currently, Truckee has permit applications on a waiting list, but Placer County has not yet reached its maximum.

For more information on Truckee’s short-term rental permit application click here.                                    For more information on Placer County short-term rental permit application click here.

It is estimated that the Lake Tahoe basin will require 9500 units over the next three to five years for its local workforce. State and local agencies are all examining programs that offer benefits in return for deed restricting parcels. These restrict the parcels to full-time residents who work in the Lake Tahoe basin.

California Grants for ADUs

The state of California has made it easier to add additional units (ADU’s) to properties zoned for only one unit. They even offer grants up to $40,000 for this redevelopment. The Town of Truckee’s 2025 General Plan includes identifying homeowner associations that prohibit or restrict second units. They are working to get HOAs to change their CC&Rs to allow additional units.

In California, the passage of Senate Bills 9 and 10 moved to allow four to six unit housing projects to be built where it normally would be a single-unit family lot, along with the potential to streamline construction by letting cities pass ordinances for up to 10 units on one parcel.

Workforce Housing Preservation Program

In 2021, Placer County created the Workforce Housing Preservation Program. It offers a homebuyer assistance program designed to secure existing housing inventory for the local workforce. The program pays homebuyers up to 16% of purchase price towards a down payment. In exchange, buyers must deed restrict their home so that it can only be occupied by local workers. The funding can help homebuyers with down payments or complete renovations. The financial assistance does not need to be paid back.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved this program on February 16, 2021. Their goal is to set aside 50 deed restricted homes throughout the County each year. This will create a marketplace of housing reserved for the local workforce. The deed restriction runs with the land for 55 years and auto-renews with each sale or transaction of the property.  The goal is to create a secondary market of local worker housing. TRPA is looking at a similar program.

Additional financing assistance may potentially be used in conjunction with the Workforce Housing Preservation Program. Financing assistance may be available through the Homebuyers Loan ProgramWISH and IDEA First-Time Homebuyer Programs, and the First Time Homebuyer Assistance Program. In East Placer, the Martis Fund Homebuyer Assistance Program may be available to help qualified buyers secure down payment funds. Additional questions can be directed to Gina Jones at [email protected].

Homebuyer and occupant eligibility:

Applicant must have at least one household member who is currently employed fulltime at an employment site within the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District geographical boundary This can be demonstrated through paystubs of 30 or more hours per week or through employer verification.

Homebuyers must have a minimum of 4% of the sale price available as a down payment.

The program will contribute 16% of the purchase price, or up to $150,000, to the homebuyer to use as down payment in exchange for the deed restriction.

Home eligibility:

The house must be in eastern Placer County.

Property may be rented on a short-term basis for no more than 30 days each calendar year

Property may be rented to a qualified occupant who meets local employment criteria

Future Home Sales:

If the house is sold in the future, it must be sold to a household that has at least one household member who meets the local worker criteria which may impact future sales price

Homeowner may rent house to a household that has at least one household member who meets the local worker criteria

More information

With so many incentives to create more housing for the workforce, it might be time to consider adding a guest unit to your property. Not only will it help house the local workforce, the financial assistance is an added plus. Additionally, you can increase the overall value of your property.

Contact me today to learn more about the many programs available in the Lake Tahoe basin.




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