Submitted by Lindsey Etchegoyhen
In a city that already that already ranks 18th among the nation’s least-affordable housing markets, and a state that has outpaced national unemployment rates throughout the pandemic, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s extended eviction moratorium has done nothing to place a cap on the various ways landlords are financially squeezing tenants to make up for their perceived losses.
Happy New Year from The Village at Iron Blossom in South Reno, where during the first week of January 2021, the complex has deemed it not only appropriate but suddenly necessary to tow the vehicles of approximately 70 residents–during a global pandemic.
As a 23-year-old essential and hourly worker, I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that the last 10 months have been really tough. After a recent COVID exposure at work, I had to quarantine at home until receiving a negative COVID test. As a result, my paycheck was half of what I’d been counting on. Choices had to be made: rent, food or car registration. Pick two.
It turns out that The Village at Iron Blossom’s lease legalese includes a requirement that my car registration be up-to-date or they can tow my car. And that’s what they did – with two days’ notice. Even if I had been aware of the notice – which I wasn’t – there was no way for me to smog and register my car in time. My car has been impounded, and the fees are increasing each day.
I’ve resided at The Village at Iron Blossom for three years now, and I learned this week just how valuable I am to my landlords.
Lindsey Etchegoyhen is a 23-year old who says she represents the average hourly worker in Reno who is scraping by during this pandemic. She has worked through the pandemic as an essential worker. She’s lived, rented, and worked in Reno for three years.
The Assistant Manager of The Village at Iron Blossom, Lori Encinias, provided this response to Etchegoyhen’s submitted opinion:
“I would like to say that we sent out an email over a month ago letting residents know we had a new tow company and they would be enforcing our lease requirements. We have worked with many residents who made contact with the office on their vehicle concerns.”
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