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Sisolak supports using American Rescue Plan funds for affordable housing options

Updated August 18, 2021 - 10:33 am

Affordable housing advocates asked Gov. Steve Sisolak to consider ways to fund more development and address the cost of living during a stakeholder event Tuesday.

Sisolak toured Decatur Commons, a Las Vegas project by nonprofit developer Nevada HAND.

More than 2,000 people have expressed interest in the apartments, expected to open in early 2022. Affordable housing advocates say that’s indicative of a larger need. But low inventory and a difficulty in financing affordable housing projects creates barriers to developing more, said Christine Hess, executive director of the Nevada Housing Coalition.

She called the influx of federal funds, through coronavirus relief and infrastructure packages, “once in a lifetime dollars” that could to address low affordable housing stock.

“It takes all the tools necessary in the world of affordable housing,” Hess said. “We don’t have enough resources. (The) state infrastructure bank, the (American Rescue Plan Act) funds, state tax credits that passed in 2019, they’re critical to moving forward.”

Decatur Commons, a 480-unit community on Alta Drive and Decatur Boulevard, will be divided equally between family housing and senior housing. All apartment rents are based on the area median income and an individual’s ability to pay. Rents are expected to range between $370 and about $1,000, officials said Tuesday.

Sisolak expressed support for using some of Nevada’s funds from the American Rescue Plan, President Biden’s coronavirus-related stimulus package, toward addressing the state’s housing challenges. Nevada received $2.7 billion from the federal government to address pandemic-related issues. He called for a comprehensive look at how to best use the funds.

“I think this is a good place to invest some of the funds that we got (from the federal government) and next is to decide how to do it, how to best come up with a good association so you can get together and plan,” he said.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.

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