March 10, 2014
In recent workforce housing happenings, the Town of Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Lakes Housing, Inc. (MLH) assisted a family of five, to close escrow on their first home! These community residents have been working in the local hospitality industry for more than 20 years while raising their three children here. They were able to purchase their home with funds from the Town’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Revolving Loan Fund for homebuyer’s assistance.
While interest rates are at historical lows, lending requirements in response to the housing crash have made it challenging for even those with excellent credit to qualify for a mortgage. Restrictive down-payment preconditions, prevent many low- and even moderate-income households from buying in Mammoth’s high cost housing market, which is why down-payment assistance programs have been instrumental in helping locals purchase homes.
Adding to this family’s ability to purchase was the benefit of their home being a deed-restricted, inclusionary unit. This unit was originally granted to the Town by the Stonegate development through the local Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance in 2006. Since that time the unit has given homeownership opportunities to two local, working families.
Homeownership is a difficult dream for many in our tourist-based communities to achieve. Jobs in the Leisure and Hospitality industry made up 44% of all jobs in Mono County in 2012. These workers make an average of $16/hour for an annual income of about $33,280 (This is based on full-time, year-round employment at 2,080 hours of work per year. It’s important to note that many service jobs are not full-time or year-round positions.). This puts many of these households that support our local tourism industry in the very-low income category, unable to make hefty down payments without grant programs like CDBG and Home Investment Partnerships (HOME).
Recently, the following Eastern Sierra communities were awarded additional funding to continue first-time homebuyer assistance through the HOME Program: the Town of Mammoth Lakes, Mono County, and the City of Bishop. If you or someone you know is interested, please don’t hesitate to contact MLH at (760) 934-4740.
***For more information, you can visit our website at www.mammothlakeshousing.org.***