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Housing & Homelessness

Housing is a growing problem for all communities, not just Nevada County. The shortage is estimated at 3 to 4 million units, which is 20%-30% of California’s total housing inventory. A strong economy has created jobs, and the housing market has not been affordable enough to keep pace.

In Nevada County, District 5 (Eastern County), at the core of the problem is a rising building cost paradigm with a robust marketplace for short-term rentals.

There is no shortage of roadblocks to solving the housing issues that challenge Nevada County, particularly in District 5 and Eastern Nevada County. 

Short Term Rental (STR) and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) are both topics that our community wants to discuss. The changing character of communities as a result of STR is real. The impact associated with STR has to be balanced through the regulatory process at local, County, and State levels. Permits, Fees, and HOA/CCR have a role to play but this action has wide downstream consequences; our entire community must weigh in to create an acceptable solution. Understanding STR effects and potential solutions are a high priority for me.

Working together with other regional elected officials is a high priority for me. Because District 5 neighbors a host of special districts and counties we share the impacts, cost, and most importantly the rewards for shared solutions. 

Because housing and the housing element associated with the Nevada County General Plan are the responsibility of the County Board of Supervisors, we have the ability to prioritize initiatives within it.

My plan for addressing housing issues include some bold ideas that will take an entire community working together to complete.

  1. Forward fund consortium partnership organizations like the Mountain Housing Council, making them county-wide. This allows organizations, special districts and private industry to work collectively under the leadership of one agency, one message, and one common county housing vision.

  2. Apply Joint Powers Agreements to leverage funds for buying and building affordable housing.

  3. Create bridge funding mechanisms to help renters use a set portion or percentage of their income on rent, so they can still pay bills while renting a home, working, and contributing to our community.

  4. Leverage grant-funding opportunities to create first-time home-buyer programs with down payment assistance.

  5. Utilize land designation and zoning to ease restriction and allow building of affordable, high density housing.

  6. Build communal living, subsidized transitional living, and alternative co-housing-type projects.

  7. Take advantage of programmed funding opportunities and special grants at the county level to drive housing solutions.

  8. Use our voice to drive the housing conversation.

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