CARSON CITY -- The Nevada Assembly advanced a plan Friday to create a database that would make it easier to find low-income housing.
Assembly Bill 139, now moving to the Senate, would require the state Housing Division to compile listings of low-income and handicapped-accessible housing in a database that could be searched by home-seekers.
"In the last housing boom that we had there was a large population of folks who were left underrepresented and unable to access housing because the market was so hot," said Assemblyman Commerce and Labor Chairman Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas. "This bill will go a long way toward serving this population in the future."
The database also would be used to create reports on how much affordable housing is available, making it easier for state and local governments to get grants for affordable housing. Some counties already collect similar data, but the state lacks a searchable database.
The bill also would require housing owners to report quarterly to the Legislature about what type of housing is available. Lawmakers also were told that most of the funding could be obtained through grants.
"That database is a really great idea," said Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas. "There are tons of federal grants out there that we missed out on."
A similar measure was defeated in 2007 because it was considered too expensive. However, lawmakers were told this year that it would cost little to create and maintain the database. The plan would be funded by the state's affordable housing trust fund.
The bill states that the Housing Division could spend up to $175,000 per year, a cost that concerned some lawmakers. But in a previous hearing, Julianna Ormsby, representing the League of Women Voters of Nevada, said the cost probably would be much lower.
The plan advanced on a 37-1 vote, with Assemblyman Ty Cobb, R-Reno, dissenting.