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Placer County to Develop Affordable Housing Strategy


Board approves contract to develop affordable housing strategy

Auburn, CA,- Recently, the Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a $186,860 contract agreement with BAE Urban Economics Inc. to develop a new affordable housing strategy. The effort will support the county's housing work plan, a series of tasks approved by the Board of Supervisors on Aug. 8, 2017, aimed at addressing the housing crisis.

The contract includes four main tasks: to assess and identify affordable housing needs and development opportunities; make recommendations about any current housing standards and policies that may be hampering development; develop a site evaluation tool to help determine the profitability of potential projects; and review recent state housing policy changes to ensure Placer's policy remains consistent.

"I very much appreciate the attention that is being paid to discovering existing impediments to the market's ability to deliver products," said District 4 Supervisor Kirk Uhler.

The work plan approaches the problem through four main focus areas: creating more incentives to build affordable and workforce housing, changing regulations to make building easier, advocating for state and federal assistance and furthering partnerships for meeting regional housing needs.

"We've been working with the Mountain Housing Council and making positive steps toward workforce housing in North Lake Tahoe," said District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. "It's not just those with low income who are struggling. We have folks who make a good living who can't find anywhere to buy. So we continue to be focused on tangible steps to get new housing inventory on the ground."

Presenting a housing work plan update to the board, Placer County Community Development Resource Agency principal planner Shawna Purvines reviewed Placer's recent accomplishments implementing the housing work plan.

In March 2017 the Board of Supervisors approved the inclusion of a new affordable housing development with up to 80 units as part of a reimagining of the Placer County Government Center campus in North Auburn.

Additionally, in November 2017, the board approved easing restrictions on secondary dwelling units, an accessory to a primary dwelling on the same site, helping to provide independent housing for college students, graduates returning home from college and seniors.

As part of an expansion of the Whole Person Care Program, the board approved a new agreement in September 2017 to purchase housing units through a grant from Sutter Health. These units were added to a portfolio of housing purchased by the county for at-risk clients, including some with mental illness.

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