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Housing Data Show More Affordable Options Still Needed

By Victoria Janicke

A community conversation was recently held by Enterprise Community Partners (ECP) to discuss the Truckee Meadows housing crisis and lead a discussion on the Regional Strategy for housing affordability.

ECP works with the community using regional data analysis in an effort to provide housing needs and solutions that are supported by local investments and resources.

Housing crisis data

ECP data revealed a 60% increase in housing costs while growth in the Annual Median Income, or AMI, stands at 16%. This means that 55% of current residents cannot afford housing in the current median price range.

It also means that the lack of available affordable housing also negatively impacts the ability of individuals and families to access community resources, such as public transportation, child care, quality education, healthcare, and employment.

As it stands, roughly 1 in 4 renters in the Truckee Meadows area qualify as low-income and face housing insecurity. Average rents have surpassed $1,480 for a one-bedroom apartment, and national guidelines for affordable housing indicate that no more than 30% of AMI be spent on housing and utilities.

ECP projects 11,812 affordable housing units are needed for very low-income households that earn 50% below AMI. They also project that with more than 120,000 new residents, more than 50,000 new housing units will be needed within the next 20 years.

The housing crisis in Reno is also impacting surrounding communities like Storey County, Stead, and Carson City.

Next Steps

It was evident during the discussion that, while there are strategies in place to support more affordable housing options, the solution also depends on companies that are willing to invest in affordable housing and policies that will incentivize this.

Over 75 engaged individuals, from the City of Reno officials, neighboring county officials, concerned citizens, proactive nonprofits, and other community organizations, participated in the community conversation.

State Senator Julia Ratti confirmed that two bills will be coming to the Nevada legislature regarding tenant rights and eviction rights. She encouraged both residents and organizations to “stay engaged and involved” with these current situations.

For more information on Enterprise Community Partners, check out: https://www.tmaffordablehousing.org

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