(Katelynn Richardson) – Clark County, Nevada’s Board of County Commissioners voted Tuesday to award nearly $120 million to the construction or rehabilitation of around 3,100 low-income housing units.
Awards will draw on the recently established Community Housing Fund, which includes revenue from state and federal grants, the county general fund, donations, fees, and interest earnings, according to the resolution passed in April.
After receiving over 50 applications totaling $360,582,000, the county approved 30 projects for funding. Staff and community members scored applications based on developer experience, financial feasibility, quality, diversity, sustainability, and location, among other criteria.
In total, awards will create 2,139 new low-income housing units and rehabilitate 967 existing homes across the county. Clark County says the program is a first for a Nevada local government.
“Through Welcome Home, Clark County’s Community Housing Fund, we are partnering with the private sector to construct or rehab, operate and maintain more than 3,100 homes across our community for families, seniors, and others most in need of safe, modern and affordable housing,” Commission Chairman Jim Gibson said in a statement. “Through the county’s investment in Welcome Home, we are pursuing long-term solutions to the affordable housing challenges we face in our region to help ensure that more of our residents have a place to call home.”
Future plans for the Welcome Home Community Housing Fund include helping residents priced out of the market purchase homes, a “Community Land Trust,” supportive housing projects, and annual investments in rental housing. Developments on county-owned land are also a possibility.
Supporting affordable housing amid an estimated shortage of 85,000 homes for low-income residents remains a priority for state and county officials, who have allocated millions in federal dollars to the issue.
Of the county’s $440 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, the 2022 Recovery Plan Performance Report recommends allocating $9.4 million to rent, mortgage, and utility assistance; $10.2 million for long-term housing security for “unhoused persons”; and another $3 million for other housing assistance.
In August, state lawmakers approved $25 million in American Rescue Plan funding to continue the county’s rental assistance and eviction diversion programs. The Clark County CARES Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) has spent $300 million on rental assistance since it launched in response to COVID-19.
Governor Steve Sisolak’s “Home Means Nevada” initiative, which will provide $500 million in ARPA funds for affordable housing projects throughout the state, also launched in April.
Katelynn Richardson | The Center Square