State officials celebrate South Tahoe affordable housing project

HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez speaks Monday at an event to celebrate the Sugar Pine Village project in South Lake Tahoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Multiple officials gathered Monday in South Lake Tahoe to celebrate the first phase of the Sugar Pine Village affordable housing project, a 248-unit community.

After a few weeks of tree removal and site preparation near the “Y” on Lake Tahoe Boulevard, across from Les Schwab and DIY, the California Department of General Services and the California Department of Housing and Community Development officially announced the beginning of the first phase of the project that will transform vacant state-owned land into affordable housing under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Excess Land for Affordable Housing executive order.

Under the order, the California Tahoe Conservancy identified two parcels in South Lake Tahoe as ideal sites to build a sustainable, innovative housing project to meet the acute demand for workforce housing in the Tahoe Basin. The first phase kicked off site preparation and infrastructure to support 68 affordable housing units.

“Sugar Pine Village demonstrates the tremendous potential of unlocking state-owned lands and converting them to housing for the local workforce and for low- and very low-income Californians,” said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. “By creating a thriving mixed-use development near transit and pedestrian-friendly centers, Sugar Pine Village is helping to implement the state’s vision for using excess state sites to support vibrant, sustainable communities.”

“It is exciting to see property no longer in use by the state being converted to provide the housing that Californians need,” said Government Operations Agency Secretary Amy Tong. “We’re eager to replicate projects like Sugar Pine Village at locations across the state.”

“DGS was joined by a diverse group of local stakeholders to consider the tremendous need for affordable workforce housing at South Lake Tahoe and putting the people and pieces together to make this significant contribution to the scarce local rental housing supply,” said DGS Director Ana Lasso.

“We are proud to have made significant progress in transforming state-owned lands into affordable housing,” said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez. “Communities like Sugar Pine Village in Lake Tahoe will support working families and individuals to live closer to where they work, go to school, and amenities—reducing transportation costs and climate impacts. The partnership and innovative thinking of this administration, DGS, developers and stakeholders across the state will move us closer to the nearly one million affordable homes needed by 2030.”

Developed by Related California, phase one includes 12 studios, 12 one-bedroom, 23 two-bedroom, and 21 three-bedroom units.

“Sugar Pine Village is an incredible example of what can happen when there is an innovative and collaborative partnership between multiple state and local stakeholders to combat California’s housing crisis,” said Ann Silverberg, CEO of Related California’s Northern California Affordable and Pacific Northwest Divisions. “It was a true team effort to deliver the first phase of this project in record time. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Governor Newsom, DGS, HCD, City of South Lake Tahoe, and others to create this critical new affordable housing in the Tahoe Basin 

“The Sugar Pine Village project is one step toward addressing the housing crisis in the City of South Lake Tahoe,” said South Lake Tahoe Mayor Devin Middlebrook. “We are grateful for the joint efforts between the local and state entities, especially the Governor’s Office and the Department of Housing and Community Development, in bringing this project to fruition and we are excited to have remained on track with our projected timelines. We anticipate the installation of the first phase of units in Summer 2023. Affordable housing continues to be a top priority for us, and we will continue to look for opportunities to add more affordable housing to our city.”

Developed by Related California and St. Joseph Community Land Trust, Sugar Pine Village is the second excess sites project to break ground under the governor’s executive order and is the largest multifamily housing project ever to be entitled in South Lake Tahoe. The full 248-unit project received full environmental clearances and permitting in just six months by utilizing Senate Bill 35 ministerial approvals.

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