Proposal would mandate ‘affordable’ rentals in new Clark County apartments
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) -A Clark County commissioner proposes mandatory “affordable housing” in every new apartment complex across Clark County, to help ease the Valley’s housing shortage amid rising rent.
Different cities and states nationwide have enacted laws to make sure residents can afford some rentals, in communities where average rent prices are far out of reach for many working class families. According to the Nevada Housing Coalition, though state law has allowed local jurisdictions to implement such policies since 1999, Clark County would be the first place in Nevada to do so.
“I’ve got a binder on my desk of people who contact my office and say that their landlords raise their rent by $700, month over month. It’s not sustainable for our community. I see this as a way to incent the developer to do the right thing,” Commissioner Michael Naft said.
The proposal would mandate, within very large apartment complexes of 250 units, 10% of residences would be “affordable rentals” for those who make 80% or less of area median income, or $45,000 a year or less.
According to Realtor.com, the average 1 bedroom apartment goes for $1,600 a month. Qualifying income requirements could range from $48,000 to $56,000 a year, depending if the landlord requires monthly income to be two-and-a-half to three times the rent.
Nevada has no rent control, and rentals have soared across the Valley in the past two years. Many Nevadans tell FOX5 that wages are not keeping pace with rising rents.
“Having more housing inventory that is affordable for all Nevadans is a game changer for many families, but it has direct impact in our community,” said Christine Hess of the Nevada Housing Coalition. Nevada lacks 84,000 units for extremely low-income individuals and families; 81% of those who fall into that income bracket are paying more than half of their income on rent.
“If you’re paying half of your income on housing, how are you also paying for childcare? So perhaps one spouse is staying home, or one parent, and we have a labor shortage. So being able to encourage in our labor market or those in the labor pool would be a benefit,” Hess said. Thousands of jobs remain open across numerous sectors in the Valley, especially the juggernaut hospitality industry.
Hess said inclusionary housing has helped to build over 111,000 units across the country. There are numerous policy across various municipalities, but some have discouraged developers from building in some communities, especially if mandates lack financial incentives or cause financial burdens.
“There’s a lot of things that we can do to make sure that we’re doing this in an affordable way,” Naft said, who is working to develop incentives for companies to include affordable housing.
Executive Director Susy Vasquez of the The Nevada State Apartment Association released the following statement:
The proposal will be brought to the Clark County Zoning Commission in July.
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