New Beginnings in Paradise

For residents of Paradise, California, the start of construction for Cypress Lane Family represents more than just 70 future affordable apartment homes. The groundbreaking ceremony on May 17 is a hopeful new beginning for a community recovering from a devastating fire and marks a brand-new strategy to develop affordable housing more efficiently.

“Nothing could be more urgent than providing dignified, climate-resilient affordable housing for families rebuilding their lives in the wake of the Camp Fire,” said Doug Shoemaker, President of Mercy Housing California (MHC).

Located about 90 miles north of Sacramento, Paradise made national news in 2018 as the center of the Camp Fire, one of the most destructive wildfires California had seen in decades. Thousands of families were displaced, and residents still feel the impact of the homes and businesses lost in the disaster.

Fortunately, the Town of Paradise has made affordable housing a key part of the community’s recovery plan. Mercy Housing California (MHC) is proud to partner on Cypress Lane Family with Chico-based developer CHIP (Community Housing Investment Program) with deep ties to the Paradise community. Right next door, the same team is planning for Cypress Lane Senior, a second phase of development that will provide 70 more affordable homes for residents 55 and older, estimated to begin in late 2025.

Residents of both properties will also have access to a new community center located at the heart of the development site. The community center will include property management and resident services offices, meeting spaces, and other amenities.

To make this two-phase plan work, we used the California Land Acquisition Fund, a financing tool we developed in 2022 to bring the speed and impact of private equity to the affordable housing sector. Using capital from the Land Fund, we purchased seven contiguous lots from two different owners and then created two sites that would become Cypress Lane Family and Cypress Lane Senior.

Scheduled for completion late in 2025, MHC can’t wait to open Cypress Lane Family to Paradise residents, including households displaced by the 2018 disaster. We thank our partners and the Town of Paradise for inviting us to help rebuild this amazing community.