Developer offers affordable housing |

Developer offers affordable housing

Andy Bourelle

Everybody is always talking about the need for affordable housing, but nobody ever does anything, says Ray May, owner of the AM-PM Minimart in Minden.

However, May, a 30-year Nevada resident, decided to try to do something about affordable housing – at least in Douglas County.

“Douglas County has really needed something like this,” May said, referring to Pine View Heights, his 160-acre housing development south of Gardnerville.

No houses currently stand on the property, but the first phase, with 32 lots, is well under way. Model homes should be up in February.

And how affordable are these homes?

“For $80,000 to $90,000 you can get the house, the land, everything totally set up and livable,” he said.

One reason the homes will be affordable is because they will be manufactured houses.

“Manufactured homes have come a long way in the last few years,” May said. “For under 100 grand, you’re going to get a first-class home.”

Homeowners will be required to follow specific guidelines and regulations regarding the style and upkeep of their property.

“It will be affordable, but their won’t be any slum area here,” he said. “People can be assured of that.”

Another reason for the affordability is that the development is on Tribal allotment land, away from some of restrictions and codes developments required in Douglas County. He has leased the land, for 99 years, from the land’s owner, a member of the Washoe Tribe. Although the development will still follow county codes and regulations, May said, not being required to pay various permits has saved him a lot of money, and will save prospective buyers as well.

“I’ve gone over my plans with the Tribe, and I’ve got their full approval,” he said. “I’ve tried to keep everyone happy. Although it’s not on Douglas County land, we’re still building everything to their specs.”

Pine View Heights is about seven miles south of Gardnerville on Highway 395, located in the foothills away from towns and other neighborhoods.

“There’s not a bad view from any place up here,” he said. “The beauty of the whole thing is that you can live out here in the wilderness, and you’re only six minutes away from a new medical facility and 10 minutes away from downtown Gardnerville. You can get the best of both worlds.”

A 330,000-gallon water tank already sits on the development, and a space has been set aside for a volunteer fire department. The entire project allows for 175 homes, and May estimated its completion in three or four years. He also has purchased another 160-acre parcel of land a few miles further south on Highway 395. He has similar plans for that land but will probably allow people to buy more or less acreage than the standard amount in the first development.

He has owned the land for Pine View Heights for barely a year, and said it is unusual for the project to have come so far in that time.

Building affordable housing on Tribal land is a new idea, May said. He has been receiving phone calls from throughout Nevada, interested in how the plan is working.

“This could be a new frontier,” May said. “This could be the true answer to the affordable housing problem.”