Tribe Plans Thousands of Affordable Homes in Empty Lands

Tribe Plans Thousands of Affordable Homes in Empty Lands


Palm Desert, CA

Over 200 hundred acres of empty land between Mecca and Thermal will one day house thousands of people in the East Valley who are in search of affordable housing. 

The Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians tribe announced they will take over the "Mecca Estates" project that covers almost 200 acres of land. The land was donated by Ken Fait, a private developer known for similar philanthropic projects. 

"It’s going to be between 1,000 and 2,000 affordable housing units and most of that will be economic development and a small portion of that will be for the tribe members," says Tribal Chairman,Thomas Tortez.

The tribe plans to develop training programs for people who want to learn about construction and engineering, all while building their new community. 

Tribal Council Secretary, Altrena Santillana, describes the new lands as a blessing, "we have a lot of potential right now, you know to do great things, and that’s what i look forward to and here we have more opportunity for economic development, we have an opportunity to work with a philanthropist." 

The community will also have several recreational areas for future residents.

"It’ll be a soccer field, a baseball field, a community center… but there’s one corner that will be commercial," says Patrick Lockhart, spokesperson for Ken Fait. 

Construction of the new community is scheduled to begin next year. Tribe officials say the project will take about four to five years to finish.