As tenants start to move into the newly finished workforce housing project on Manzanita, the construction slowdown and nationwide credit crunch has started to affect Mammoth Lakes Housing.
With large workforce housing projects like Aspen Village, a year ago it appeared that Mammoth Housing was the largest developer in town. Now that the Manzanita apartments are done, Pam Hennarty, the Executive Director of Mammoth Housing, reports that the only construction project left on the books are the 24 town homes on Old Mammoth Road.
Up until recently Mammoth Lakes Housing had been focused on new construction, but now has entered a planning phase, Hennarty explained.
The rentals now available at the Manzanita apartments are low income housing, slated for people making 50-60% of the area median income. As for middle income units that Mammoth Lakes Housing sells to qualified buyers, it appears that the national sub-prime mortgage mess has spilled over into public housing.
Hennarty explained that the there is still grant money available for low income housing, but projects for middle income Mammoth residents are subject to the same market forces as private developers. Like most builders these days, Hennarty explained that lenders are more risk averse making construction loans more difficult to get.
The 24 town homes on Old Mammoth are scheduled to be finished in 2009. What happens after that project is done is the subject of the current planning process at MLH. Rehabilitation of existing properties is an option being explored. With over $3 million given out as down payment assistance so far, that program may continue as well.