Today’s ribbon cutting ceremony at Cashin’s Field in Nevada City is the culmination of collaboration between multiple local and state agencies to bring an affordable housing project to the City of Nevada City in many, many years, if ever.

The now fully occupied project provides 51 units of housing, 11 one-bedroom, 26 two-bedrooms and 14 three-bedrooms. All units are designated for 30%-60% area median income.

Ribbon cutting at Cashin's Field in Nevada City on March 20, 2023
Ribbon cutting at Cashin’s Field in Nevada City on March 20, 2023. Photo YubaNet

At the entrance of Cashin’s Field, a granite block bears the land acknowledgment to the Nisenan Tribe. Shelly Covert, the spokesperson for the Nisesnan tribe spoke at the ceremony today, explained “The word Tuküdy means little field.” The project is located within the Nisenan townsite of Oustamah, pretty close to the center of it, according to Covert.

Tukudy - meaning 'little field' in Nisenan

District I Supervisor Heidi Hall was thrilled to see “this beautiful facility complete, brought to fruition.” Hall continued, “Cashin’s Field is a product of the first multi-jurisdictional Western Nevada County Regional Housing Trust Fund (partnership between the cities of Grass Valley, Nevada City and the County of Nevada) affordable housing loan program using Permanent Local Housing Allocation and matched by state Local Housing Trust Fund Program match funds ($1.575M loan to a project). The project was awarded specific CTCAC Disaster Credits allocated to the County as a result of the 2017 Wind Complex Fire. So we are using those funds to move this community forward. Over 80 percent of the new tenants who moved in are local county residents of Nevada County that found a permanent place to live that allows them to stay in the county, benefitting local businesses and schools. It completely met the goal and vision of what this would be, to help our local community.”

District I Supervisor Heidi Hall, Nevada County CEO Alison Lehman and State Treasurer Fiona Ma
District I Supervisor Heidi Hall, Nevada County CEO Alison Lehman and State Treasurer Fiona Ma. Photo YubaNet

State Treasurer Fiona Ma was on hand, her third visit to the project. “This is probably the highlight of what we do every day, actually coming out to turn the dirt and then coming out to do the ribbon cutting. I also had the privilege of coming out here in August with Erin Minett and Peter and met with Stewart and Heidi Hall, Daniela Fernandez, Alison, Shelley, and others, and how important this project is to the community. Whether you work at a small business, at the hotel, at a restaurant, everyone kept saying that we need more housing, and it takes a village to build these type of affordable housing. It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle. And the bigger it is, the more complicated it is, requires many, many pieces, and you never know which way to start a jigsaw. You try to start at the corners and put it together, but until it really comes to fruition. So under my administration, I chair the bond and the tax credit committees, led by Nancy Wilbur, our executive director, who’s been doing an amazing job, hiring up the staff, getting the regulations in place, rolling out all of the credits and bonds. Even during the pandemic, my office continue to work. Otherwise we would not have met the deadlines or the competitive application process. And we want to thank our governor, Gavin Newsom. When he and I got elected four years ago, he allocated 500 million of state low income housing tax credits. Those tax credits have to be coupled with the bonds, and that made our bonds competitive for the first time in many, many decades. So that required a whole new set of regulations to get up to speed. Then, thanks to Congressman Mike Thompson, he allocated 9% disaster tax credits for the 2017 and 2018 fire devastated regions. So that allowed more applications to come off the shelf. And so for the last four years, we have approved more low income housing, middle income housing applications than ever before. And this is an example of a new construction. 50 affordable housing units, 30% to 60% AMI. This is what communities are asking for. And we thank the community, because without you, it won’t happen, right? Without community members like yours that say, we want to have it here, without the city and the county approving permitting as soon as possible, without us at the state level making sure that we are doing our job and not standing in the way, these projects would not happen. So thank you all to the neighbors out here. We look forward to working with you.”

The project was designed to blend with the neighborhood context with walkability in mind, and is within walking distance of schools, grocery stores, a park, and public transportation.