Affordable housing gets boost in Kingsbury area
A 64-unit affordable housing project approved last December is undergoing construction in the Kingsbury area.
Developer and part owner Randy Lane said the project, named the Lake Vista I Apartments, was split into two phases to make it financially feasible and to comply with the seasonal building restrictions.
Work started on the first 24 units in September, and Lane said he expects to finish by next May or June.
“What we’re trying to accomplish now money wise has been a big a challenge as getting (Tahoe Regional Planning Agency) permits,” Lane said.
“It’s not anyone’s fault. You’ve just got something that needs government assistance.”
Lane said the developers got a small community block grant to help offset construction costs.
He said he’s happy the financial issues and building permits will be completed this week so the only thing left to do is build.
However, that doesn’t come without some objection. Lane said when the project was first approved many area neighbors were upset that affordable housing would be built next to their homes.
However, Lane said compared to other property uses, his complex will be more aesthetically pleasing.
“You’re never going to change the mind of some people, but the project is a good project. It is going to be the nicest affordable housing I’ve seen,” he said. “I think the community has an obligation to provide housing. Having an independent place for people to live is the best way to go.”
Douglas County Commissioner Don Miner said he was pleased the affordable housing project was going to be built on Market Street and that Lane was tearing down the apartments on Kahle Drive.
“I think it’s going to be a quality project,” Miner said. “It’s going to be a place for people to live that work in retail and that’s nice.”
Lane said two of the five buildings on Kahle Drive have already been torn down and another is scheduled to be demolished by Dec. 15.
Lane said the demolition of the buildings did not affect too many people because a lot of the units were vacant and barely habitable. Lane said the residents that remain in the buildings were offered relocation fees or given a month free rent every six months.
Although the Kahle Drive apartments offered lower rents, Lane said they were not affordable housing. The new apartments on Market Street will be the first affordable housing in Douglas County’s portion of the basin.
To classify the units as affordable housing, a deed restriction is placed on the property so owners cannot sell it or change its use for 40 years. Also, residents’ incomes will determine whether they can qualify to live there. Lane said residents will probably include those on fixed incomes like senior citizens or single mothers.
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