Squeezed Out: Reno-Tahoe's Affordable Housing Shortage

Tahoe's Missing Middle

Dec 1, 2016


Tahoe communities have been grappling with a worsening housing crisis for several months. Although housing has always been an issue in the region, the situation has reached something of a tipping point in recent months, affecting both low-income communities and,increasingly, working class and middle class residents as well.

As more and more landlords convert their properties to lucrative short-term vacation rentals, and developers continue to push for new neighborhoods filled with second homes, locals are struggling to stay in the community.

Will Stone

Affordable housing doesn’t seem like an obvious topic for the Tahoe Summit, but housing and lake clarity are linked. Our Tahoe reporter Amy Westervelt has that story. 

Study Proves Tahoe Housing Crisis Is Real

Aug 28, 2016

A study of housing in Truckee and north Tahoe released this week reveals some troubling realities about the region. 

The results of the Truckee-North Tahoe regional housing study, commissioned by the Truckee-Tahoe Community Foundation, are unsurprising to locals: A third of Tahoe residents spend more than half their income on housing, and close to 65 percent of houses in the region are vacation homes. 

A public meeting to discuss a proposed new development in Tahoe got pretty heated when hundreds of locals turned up to voice their concerns. Our Tahoe reporter Amy Westervelt was there.

In Midtown, A Rising Tide Leaves Some Shops Adrift

Jun 5, 2016
Julia Ritchey

Our series Squeezed Out has been examining how the area's housing market is being reshaped by a surge of new companies and outside investment. Nowhere in Reno is this effect more apparent than in Midtown, where some small business owners are facing tough choices. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey brings us one shopkeeper's story. 

Shop owner Lisa Rojas is giving a tour of her Midtown store, a small converted Victorian home shared by two other businesses.

Squeezed Out: How To Build Affordable Housing In Tahoe

May 26, 2016

In our  ongoing series, "Squeezed Out," on the housing shortage in Reno and Tahoe, today. In this final story, our reporter Amy Westervelt looks at potential solutions in Tahoe and Truckee.

That train whistle is the soundtrack of Truckee. So it's only fitting that the first new downtown development in years is at the site of the old railyard. I'm here with Truckee Mayor Joan DeRyk Jones.

“This is Church Street, and we’re standing on the future site of the Artist Lofts. Eventually to the West there will be a theater and retail component.”

Our series “Squeezed Out,” on housing shortages facing Reno and Tahoe, continues with reporter Amy Westervelt’s story on how tourism affects Tahoe residents.

On my street in Truckee, there are about 20 houses. But only three of us live here. That's not uncommon throughout the Tahoe region, where more than sixty-five percent of the housing stock is second homes. In many discussions of economic development and housing in the region, it's the elephant in the room.

We started our series “Squeezed Out” by looking at how everyday people are being affected by the housing shortages in Reno and Tahoe, but today Reno Public Radio's Amy Westervelt brings us this story about the impact on local businesses.

"Hi, good morning. Today I'm going to talk as an employer of about 17 people in Truckee, about how the housing issue has been affecting us as a company."

Julia Ritchey

Reno's housing market has steadily regained its health, making it a sellers’ market. This is putting strain on the city’s dwindling supply of rental homes. In our ongoing series Squeezed Out, reporter Julia Ritchey explores what’s happening in Midtown, Reno’s trendiest neighborhood.

"This is a nice little space. So you can see, I have access to a backyard and a frontyard..."

Margie Hicks has lived in her two-bedroom, one-bath rental house on Caliente Street in Midtown for about six years.

She says back then, it wasn't hard to find a place to rent.

Squeezed Out, Part One: A Look Beyond The Lake In Tahoe

May 17, 2016
Courtesy Domus Development

The Reno-Tahoe area is facing a severe shortage of affordable housing, impacting everyone from families to employers to even the police force. In this first story of our series on the subject, "Squeezed Out,"  Reno Public Radio's Amy Westervelt visited a side of Tahoe most people don't see. 

"I just kicked a liquor bottle, in a park where there are unfortunately a lot of kid bikes."

That's Heidi Hill-Drum, executive director of the Tahoe Prosperity Center, showing me around one of the few affordable housing options in King's Beach: a run-down trailer park.