Carson Valley housing report writes off Tahoe as viable option

MINDEN, Nev. — A study of housing availability in Douglas County by the Nevada Rural Housing pretty much wrote off Lake Tahoe.

The report, which was released late March, acknowledged that there is a large concentration of housing along Lake Tahoe in Douglas County.

“While these communities comprise a significant housing market, the sheer expense of development in these communities makes it impractical for the development of affordable housing,” report authors said. “Therefore this study focuses on those areas that offer opportunities to address the overburdened population.”

Consultants Vogt Strategic Insights focused on Minden-Gardnerville and northern Carson Valley as key housing areas.

According to data included in the report, residents 65 and over are projected to be the fastest growing segment of the county’s population.

“It is expected that Douglas County will continue to grow, attracting retirees from California and even the Carson City region, who see the Valley as an attractive place to live,” the report said.

The county is projected to actually experience its largest decrease among adults 45-54 years old. The number of households in the county is expected to increase by 3.8 percent, which is a rate of 150-160 a year, with most of those being residents 65 and older.

“As the majority of the baby boomer generation is now of senior status, growth among senior age cohorts relative to the overall household base is typical of aging communities,” the report pointed out. “Baby boomers are being replaced by a much smaller, younger, generational cohort with respect to demographic size.”

Most of the county’s households own their own homes, with only 31 percent projected to be renter-occupied in 2021.

More than 2,250 renting households are paying more than 35 percent of their income, according to the report. Most of them have incomes below $35,000.

Not all renters have low incomes, with the report noting a trend for younger, wealthier renters to displace them.

“Many of the new renter households within Douglas County are earning $50,000 or more per year, and existing renter households will see increases in income levels,” consultants said. “We are regularly seeing an increase in area homeowners and new household formations becoming renters by choice, also increasing demand for high-quality rental units.”

Most of the county’s future growth will be in Minden-Gardnerville, which includes the Gardnerville Ranchos.

According to the report, that area is projected to increase 4 percent with 10,507 households by 2021. The North Valley is projected to increase 2.5 percent to 5,218 households.

Meanwhile the rest of East Fork Township is expected to grow at 2.5 percent to 5,524 households.

The housing studies cover the state’s 15 rural counties and the rural areas of Clark and Washoe counties.

“This data will contribute to the important dialogue between developers, planning agencies and housing authorities,” Nevada Rural Housing Authority Deputy Director Bill Brewer said.


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