County to discuss housing element Dec. 4
The housing element of the 2016 Master Plan Update is scheduled to go before Douglas County commissioners at 9 a.m. on Dec. 4.
“Recognizing that many members of the public may be unable to attend our scheduled meeting, we are collecting public input on housing in Douglas County,” spokeswoman Melissa Blosser said. “Residents are encouraged to submit written comment to the Board members or the Douglas County Manager’s Office if they cannot attend the board meeting.”
According to those who participated in the 2016 Master Plan Survey, the Housing Element was rated as one of the top three Master Plan Elements needing improvement, after Growth Management and Land Use. Several survey respondents expressed concern with the lack of diverse housing stock and the expensive housing market in Douglas County. According to the draft Housing Element, cost burden remains the most significant housing problem for low-income renter and owner households in Douglas County.
“Housing has been a topic of discussion at many County Commission meetings, the Critical Issues Conference, as well as Chamber meetings in the Valley and at the Lake,” said Mimi Moss, Community Development Director for Douglas County. “We just want to make sure we give all the citizens of Douglas County a chance to weigh in on the importance of future housing in Douglas County.”
Included in the housing element is a section on Affordable Housing. Affordable Housing in the Housing Element is defined as market rate housing as well as subsidized housing. In other words, housing is affordable if it does not require a significant percentage of household income. The standard rule of thumb is that housing costs, including utilities, should not exceed 30 percent of household income. Cost burden is defined as housing costs that exceed 30 percent of income while severe cost burden is defined as housing costs that exceed 50 percent of household income.
In July 2017, the county entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nevada Rural Housing Authority, which included the creation of Douglas County’s Affordable Housing Task Force. The Task Force held its first meeting on Nov. 6 and will continue to meet to discuss housing concerns in Douglas County.
The draft Housing Element can be viewed at https://www.douglascountynv.gov/DocumentCenter/View/6986