weather icon Mostly Clear

$70M initiative aims to boost affordable housing in Clark County

Updated June 28, 2023 - 4:23 pm

Clark County announced that it has $70 million more in its reserves to address the shortage of affordable housing.

A total of $50 million will help fund rental housing this year, and another $20 million will be used for “supportive housing developments,” the county wrote in a Wednesday news release.

The dollars originate from the Welcome Home initiative created in 2022. Concrete plans for how the new rounds of funding will be used are forthcoming, the county said.

“Clark County continues to make historic investments in affordable housing through our Welcome Home program because we know the need in our community is great and availability in our current housing market is limited,” said Commission Chair Jim Gibson in the release.

“We know these developments do not come along quickly, but we are focused on permanent solutions for our region and these investments help us to achieve this goal.

“As information is made available in the coming months about how to apply for this funding, I would encourage developers who are looking to make a meaningful impact in our region to apply,” Gibson added.

In September, the county allocated $120 million to help build or renovate about 3,100 affordable housing units for seniors and low-income residents.

Gibson at the time touted the program as a first of its kind in Nevada as the county had estimated a shortage of more than 85,000 affordable homes.

Volunteers participating in a daylong census of the unhoused population last year made contact with 5,645 people experiencing homelessness.

The census noted that about 14,000 people were living in the street “at some point” during that year.

Clark County’s action comes shortly after Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoed bills related to tenant rights and eviction reform.

The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, which represents tenants facing eviction, said the rejection of Senate Bill 335 — which would have halted evictions for up to 60 days for renters with pending rental assistance applications — could leave many more Nevadans without a home.

“As a result, thousands of Nevadans, who could have maintained housing had SB335 been signed into law, will be evicted and make up the growing ranks of the newly homeless,” the nonprofit organization wrote.

Lombardo in his veto message countered that the legislation would create “onerous burdens in Nevada’s residential renting market by requiring even more hurdles for a landlord to evict a non-compliant tenant.”

Clark County is also creating the “Welcome Home Community Land Trust,” which aims to boost homeownership for “low to moderate income, first-time buyers.”

Clark County officials expect to open the application process in 2024.

Information on the county’s rental assistance program can be found at chap.clarkcountynv.gov.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @rickytwrites.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.