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Housing And Planning Alliance Concerned About Lack Of Affordable Housing

Sonora, CA — A recent report released by the Sierra Housing and Planning Alliance indicates a lack of affordable housing in Tuolumne County.

The Alliance says there are 3846 proposed housing units that are either awaiting approval from the Community Development Department or are under review.

Board President Beetle Barbour says the alliance is concerned that none of the pending units appear to be within an affordable price range for those earning low or median incomes.

She says that since affordable housing has become such a prominent issue within the county, there was some hope among planners that there would be a voluntary effort among developers to provide more housing that is affordable, at least to those earning a median income.

The alliance says that since the majority of wage earners in the county fall within the category of median income or lower, their housing needs must be addressed.

The report indicates that many residents who provide essential services such as law enforcement, fire protection and education are currently being priced out of the market.

Barbour says that those people may have to move out of the county and commute to the area if they can´t find housing within their means. That would have a significant negative economic impact by taking money out of the community, thereby eroding the sense of community enjoyed by so many county residents .

Barbour says that the county´s General Plan has called for an additional 1800 affordable housing units by 2008. She adds that less than 10% of those units have been built so far.