Working Group, Council and public provide direction; website available for public participation
March 22, 2017
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Community outreach for Mammoth Lakes Housing Action Plan: Live, Work Thrive, has launched. Mammoth Lakes Housing is contracting with WSW Consulting of San Anselmo, CA, and her team to help identify and understand the housing difficulties and problems faced by local residents and workers in the town of Mammoth Lakes and to lead a community strategic planning process to help target housing solutions. The process will include extensive research, local interviews and data collection, community outreach, and facilitated working sessions. The housing needs assessment phase of the project will be complete in July. The strategic planning phase will follow, with the final Community Housing Action Plan anticipated by November 2017.
On March 15, the consultant Wendy Sullivan, president of WSW Consulting, presented the scope of work, proposed timeline, and approach to a recently formed Housing Working Group and the attending public. The Working Group consists of 14 representatives spanning a wide range of expertise in the community; up to two more members may be added. The meeting was facilitated by Steve Frisch of the Sierra Business Council.
Meeting attendees expressed a sense of urgency and strong desire for meaningful action on housing options in the community. The current study is distinct from previous efforts because it includes both assessing the housing need of locals and helping the community form actionable strategies to address identified needs. Previous efforts have been limited to assessment of need.
Mr. Frisch led the group through a discussion of concerns, some of which included:
- understanding the constraints on developable land in the community,
- strengthening outreach to the Hispanic community,
- trends in online short term rentals,
- employers’ role in providing housing solutions, and
- understanding commuting patterns and commuter preferences.
The Working Group also discussed the characteristics of several resort communities that are working on addressing similar housing problems as those encountered in Mammoth Lakes. The study will include review of housing programs and approaches in up to five comparable resort communities. The purpose is to help generate ideas on how local housing problems can be addressed and understand how programs can be altered to meet the unique situation in Mammoth Lakes.
Ms. Sullivan stated that outreach to the community will occur through a housing survey and interviews and focus groups to understand the full spectrum of local housing needs and impact on the community.
- Town residents and employees are encouraged to share their housing story through the Live Work Survey at www.research.net/r/LiveWorkMono. This survey is in English and Spanish and is sponsored by both Mono County and the Town of Mammoth Lakes. The confidential survey responses will ensure that we understand the housing needs, preferences and challenges faced by local residents and employees.
- Extensive local interviews and focus groups with local employers, stakeholders, and housing professionals will also be conducted.
That evening, Town Council weighed in on the scope of the study and anticipated outcomes. Council members added emphasis on the challenges presented by limited development potential in town, the need to include regional partnerships as a potential strategy, and the importance of including the financial and land use tools specific to California when discussing housing strategies. Council members generally expressed strong support for the effort and a desire for the study to be comprehensive and actionable:
For more information, members of the community are encouraged to visit the study website, available in English and Spanish, at www.housemammothlakes.com. The project website will allow viewers to review project documents, sign up for updates, provide comments, take the Live Work Survey, and contact the consultant team.
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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Jennifer Halferty with Mammoth Lakes Housing at 760-934-4740 or Willa Williford at 303-818-0096 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.