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Crisis in the valley: Not enough affordable housing

Crisis in the valley: Not enough affordable housing

The valley is facing a crisis. There is not enough low-income housing and the prices are going up.

Year after year, Las Vegas sits at the bottom for low-income housing availability.

A new study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, titled “Out of Reach” found in order to afford a one bedroom modest apartment in Nevada, a minimum wage worker would need to work 72 hours a week and 90 hours a week for a two bedroom.

There is not enough inventory and too many in need.

George Trombley is with Blackbird Realty & Property Management. He said, “Rents are increasing all over the valley. Largely because of what is going on here in town.”

However, wages aren’t keeping the pace.

Andrew Aurand, the Vice President of Research with the National Low Income Housing Coalition said, “Las Vegas routinely has one of the lowest rental supplies for the lowest income renters.”

Minimum wage workers are hit the hardest and the future looks grim.

“Seven of ten occupations that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects will grow the most over the next decade are low wage occupations," said Aurand.

The study found a huge gap between income and affordability in the valley.

“A full-time worker would need to earn a little more than $15 an hour, just to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment,” said Aurand.

That’s almost double minimum wage.

The study also found 71,000 people in the Las Vegas/Henderson area are considered extremely low income. There is a deficit of 64,000 affordable and available rentals units.

It’s getting worse.

Marlin Dart is a renter. He said, “Before they were going up about $50 every lease, but the last one jumped $200 on the last lease.”

According to local firm Applied Analysis, apartment rental rates are up more than 23 percent in the past six years.

“There’s just not enough affordable housing for people to find," Aurand said.

In order to fix the problem, Aurand said, “There is a responsibility at the federal level, and the state level and the local level to try and solve this problem.”

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