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Plumas Unified is purchasing this four-unit building in East Quincy to provide housing options for new hires. Photo from listing service

School district buys residential property to offer employees housing

By Debra Moore

[email protected]

Housing is an issue in Plumas County –  not just for individuals and families looking for places to live, but for employers who can’t fill positions because there is no housing available for new employees.

Plumas Unified School District decided to do something about it and purchased a four-unit apartment building in East Quincy to serve as transitional housing for new hires who need a place to live.

During the school board’s July 13 meeting, the trustees authorized Lisa Cavin, the district’s deputy superintendent, to sign the necessary documents. Escrow should close in 60 days.

According to the real estate listing, the property at 2052 East Main Street is a multiple residential property with additional development potential. The 1.09-acre property includes a building with four units — all with two bedrooms and one bathroom and individual decks. There is room for an additional 19 units to be constructed, for which the sellers had a proposed plot plan.

The property had been listed for $799,000, but the school district purchased it for $749,000.

According to Cavin, the purchase money came from one-time unrestricted funds. “The Governor’s May Revision included a one-time discretionary block grant, but that was not included in the final budget deal,” she said. “The board authorized that Secure Rural Schools or other unrestricted one-time funds be used for the purchase if the block grant was not included in the final budget.”

Following are some questions asked of Cavin:

Would the district expand the units on the property? At this time, the district would not anticipate adding units. However, we have discussed the potential to partner with another entity to expand. As you mentioned, this has been an issue for other public and private entities in Plumas County.

Would rental income help restore the cost?  The rental income would be expected to support the ongoing costs for maintenance, etc. The intention is that these be affordable, transitional units. They would be available for at least the first year, with the expectation that it would give tenants time to locate and secure permanent housing.

Will the units require much refurbishing? One of the units is move-in ready. The others will need paint, new flooring, some cabinetry, etc.

What about the current tenants?  Unfortunately, the current tenants will need to secure other housing. The escrow is 60 days to allow time for this to occur.

Traci Holt, the school board president, said that the board is pleased to have the opportunity to offer housing to new hires. (In the past, individuals have turned down positions with PUSD because they couldn’t find a place to live.) Holt is also optimistic that district could work with another entity/entities to develop the property to offer housing opportunities.

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