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Bishop Reservation housing project nearing completion

January 13, 2011

The Coyote Mountain Apartments on the Bishop Paiute Reservation is near completion. The apartments will be for low to moderate income Native American families and will be a drug and alcohol free environment. It was reported that the apartments may be made available to non-Native residents if the need for affordable housing is no longer needed on the Reservation. However, there is no foreseeable end to a need for affordable housing on the Reservation. Photo by Mike Bodine

The first designated sober living spaces on the Bishop Paiute Reservation are nearing completion.
Ground was broken in November 2008 on the Coyote Mountain Apartments. Since then, homegrown labor and local contractors have been the primary muscle at the site, and will see the project through to a projected completion date of March 1.
Robert Vance, director of the Bishop Paiute Community Development Department and lead planner for the project, said the estimated finish date for the six, two-story buildings is still on track “as long as the weather holds.”
Vance said Tuesday that the buildings and individual units are basically finished. He explained that landscaping and work on the parking lot still need to be completed.
The landscaping was not a part of the original budget, Vance said, adding that exact costs of the project will be available in March.
The tenants will reportedly be looking at a cost savings when they move in. The building has been fitted with energy-efficient Structurally Insulated Panels. The panels will reduce energy consumption by 20 percent, according to Vance.
The housing site will have six, two-story, four-plex buildings for 24, two- and three-bedroom apartments, a meeting room, laundry facilities, a basketball court and fenced playground. There will be some handicapped-accessible apartments as well as an on-site manager.
The apartments are intended for low- to moderate -income tribal members, but will be made open to the public if housing needs drop on the Reservation, Vance said in a 2008 interview, but he noted he does not foresee the need for tribal housing diminishing anytime soon.
According to the department, a stipulation for being a tenant is that the applicant be drug- and alcohol-free.
Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze said at the groundbreaking in 2008 that he thought the sober environment of the new apartments is especially important to demonstrate to youth that drugs and alcohol are not necessarily condoned by the entire community.

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