Mammoth Lakes Building Massive Affordable Housing Complex to Combat Real Estate Surge

Ski towns across America are experiencing a real estate surge that is pricing locals out of the market. It’s become a major problem in Mammoth Lakes, California, which is why the town has opted to construct a giant affordable housing complex.

The Town of Mammoth Lakes has announced the development of 466 affordable housing units reserved for the local workforce. More than half of the units will be finished or under construction by 2023 and will be reserved for locals making anywhere between $19,000 and $65,000 per year. Rents for apartment units will range from approximately $350 to $1,500 per month and will be based on applicant income. 

Workers break ground on the new affordable housing complex in Mammoth Lakes

On top of that, Mammoth Mountain recently announced its pending acquisition of the Sierra Lodge, which will provide lodging for up to 72 Mammoth Resorts employees.

Affordable housing in ski towns has become a hot-button issue since Covid sent a wave of wealthy city-dwellers into the mountains on search of social distancing. Towns like South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Mount Shasta and Mammoth Lakes have seen home prices surge to bloated amounts, leaving the crucial employees of these towns out of luck when it comes to housing. AirBnB and VRBO investors have also snatched up any housing left on the market.

Bravo to Mammoth Lakes for addressing this issue and helping house the important workers in their area. Will other ski towns in Northern California follow suit?

Here is an overview of the Mammoth Lakes project:

Bridge Program

  • Description: Converting 12 Market Rate units to affordable deed restricted units in exchange for providing interested parties with a town-funded subsidy (average subsidy: 109k)
  • Timing: subsidy is available now

The Parcel Project:

  • Description: 25-acre town-owned vacant landsite with plans for affordable housing, public park, and childcare facilities. 450 total units going in
  • Timing:
    • Phase 1:
      • 81 apartment units
      • Construction underway // occupancy: fall 2023
    • Phase 2:
      • 147 units
    • Construction anticipated to begin in summer 2023, currently in entitlement
  • Subsequent phases:
    • 222 affordable units
    • Construction timeline to follow Phase 2

Small Site Development:

  • 4 unit project, completed by 2023. Restricted to households earning between 120-150% of the AMI (cohort that most state/ federal programs don’t allow assistance to)

Active NorCal

Northern California's Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine

One Comment

  1. As a business owner who owns property next to this project,to say I’m skeptical about this property is being nice! This property was initially deemed for 172 units! Now they have taken every tree,looks like a walmart parking lot, not a beautiful affordable housing project!! As in the past,every developer that got grants from the state for these project has fell way short and deemed the project not profitable,hence grossly overcharging the initial affordable housing!!! Rent for 350 a month in Mammoth???? I will hold the author of this editorial and the developer accoutable for their statements! As a lifelong Mammoth local,59 years, prove me wrong!!!

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