Date: September 22 – 25, 2008
Sponsor: Martis Fund
Chair: Leigh Ferguson
Subject Area: Workforce and Affordable Housing
- How should the city capitalize on its assets and make the most of its community and economic development efforts?
- How should the city prioritize its planning and development efforts?
Summary of Recommendations:
The Martis Fund asked the panel to explore development strategies for a workforce housing parcel in Truckee,California, and identify creative workforce development options that in turn strengthened the community. The panel proposed a unique workforce housing project that overcame the usual hurdles found in existing affordable housing developments. A main part of the plan was the creation of a land trust that enabled the Martis Fund to retain ownership and control of the land.
The recommended design of the workforce housing development consisted of at least 200 family-oriented residential units, to be built in a series of phases. The units needed to be desirable to year-round employees who otherwise would choose to live in nearby Reno,Nevada. To achieve such desirability, this walkable community would feature amenities such as pocket parks, convenience retail, and sustainable design practices. It was also important for employers who would benefit from their employees having increased workforce housing to help in financing and developing this project. The panel’s land trust model, in which the Marts Fund board would remain actively involved as the land owner, would reduce the need for a traditional workforce housing deed and income restrictions. This innovative model would lead to an employer-driven, regional workforce housing solution.