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There’s no place like home

by staff

Douglas County’s people in need can’t wait much longer while officials decide who’s to blame for a lack of affordable housing at Lake Tahoe.

The latest back-and-forth occurred Thursday as county commissioners siad the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is at fault for allegedly not doing enough to provide affordable housing in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Commissioners countered that there is less land available for development at the Lake, property is expensive and stringent TRPA regulations gum up the process. What land is available for development at the Lake either is owned by the U.S. Forest Service or the Park family and isn’t for sale. That makes it pretty restrictive to put a housing development on the ground.

Despite all those setbacks, county officials claim there has been significant progress in 1999, citing approval of a 64-unit affordable housing project scheduled for the Kingsbury area and subsequent funding.

TRPA disagrees and has considerable clout in the issue. If the two-state agency decides Douglas isn’t doing enough, the board can impose a one-year moratorium on building housing subdivisions in the Kingsbury area, keeping higher-priced housing from taking limited space away from potential affordable housing sites.

Making affordable housing available takes teamwork, a fragile process that is easily derailed by finger-pointing.

It’s tough, we agree, but try being the breadwinner for a family living in crowded, substandard housing because that’s all you can afford. That might be an eye-opening experience to bring the bureaucrats back to the real world – a place where the regular folks learn to make do.