Nevada City housing project hits hurdle; another project, Brunswick Commons, inches forward

Development for the Cashin’s Field project, a proposed 56-unit affordable housing complex in Nevada City, hit a snag Wednesday when it was not awarded tax credits to finance the project by the state tax credit allocation committee.

According to county Housing Director Mike Dent, the committee will review the decision at its next meeting in November.

“Securing 9% tax credits is extremely important to affordable housing. It makes the project viable financially,” Dent said. “That is a critical piece in the puzzle.”

If the project is not awarded tax credits then, there will be another round of funding opportunities in March.

Project developers are working with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control on a voluntary clean-up agreement that will investigate the potential for sulpheret works at the site after a public inquiry was made to the agency.

The 4.6-acre site is set to host six apartment buildings spanning up to three stories, a community center with public-facing patio, open green space, and outdoor/play areas. If the development is funded through tax credits as originally intended and the project is not delayed by potential remediation, construction is set to begin in the spring, with residents able to move in summer 2022.

BRUNSWICK COMMONS

According to Grass Valley Community Development Director Tom Last, developers for the 41-unit affordable housing project Brunswick Commons could begin grading this year, weather permitted. Developers re-submitted building plans Wednesday, which the city will review over the next few weeks before construction can begin, Last said.

The project was awarded $12 million in tax credits in July and expects to open by the end of next year.

The complex will feature 33 one-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom units, all between 30% to 50% of the area’s median income. According to the project application, the proposed rent will be less than $900 for all units.

The project was originally envisioned to have a homeless resource center component when the county purchased the property in January 2019, but $3 million in state funding for that portion was not approved last year.

TRAILERS

Nevada County will receive six travel trailers for isolating people at-risk for COVID-19 that could be used to house the homeless after the pandemic.

After missing out on a state program in April which provided local governments with trailers for homeless people and other vulnerable populations, the county recently received three surplus trailers donated from Costa Mesa, and within weeks will get six more from Los Angeles.

The trailers will be housed at the Nevada County Fairgrounds and will be used for individuals in need of temporary housing, quarantine and/or isolation due to COVID-19. According to Dent, they have been used in instances where people have been exposed but have nowhere else to safely go while they await test results.

“Normally Public Health alerts county staff of a need for isolation,” Dent said. “There have been occasions where we have housed people who came from a house that’s been infested by COVID and it would be dangerous for them to remain in that house.”

Once there is no longer a need for them, the county is likely to donate the trailers to a local nonprofit, Dent said.

The trailers are around 25 to 27 feet each and have an advertised capacity of between five to seven people.

According to Dent, the trailers may help the county accommodate people with pets and will be cheaper than motel rooms, where people are typically isolated.

The trailers are not expected to cost the county any funding, aside from the registration, taxes and costs to transport them.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email [email protected] or call 530-477-4229.

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