LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Rents are on the rise and the increased cost of housing has led more people to the verge of homelessness in the Las Vegas valley.
During the Clark County Commission meeting on Tuesday, Commissioner William McCurdy II took a moment to share some things he says he's learned from residents of his district, District D.
McCurdy says he's received around 280 emails regarding rent increases in the valley, and of those emails, the average rent increase is $463 a month.
One renter told McCurdy that he has not missed a payment at his apartment since 2009 but recently saw his rent go up by $500. Another said they expect their rent to double by April 1.
McCurdy says one renter spent $2,000 in application fees alone as they searched for a new place to live.
"This presents a public safety crisis," said McCurdy. "If families don't have food, if they don't have housing — Maslow's hierarchy of needs says we need shelter and food to survive — if they don't have those basic things, we are going to find ourselves in a situation that we will not be able to turn back the clock on."
Many of these renters are seniors, families with small kids and people juggling multiple part-time jobs, he says.
McCurdy says part of the problem in the cases he's discussed is that many of the landlords are keeping the renters on a month-to-month lease, which allows them to increase the cost of rent each month, per state law.
Landlords can't raise the rent during your lease. They must provide a 60-day notice if they plan to increase rent once the lease is up. A 60-day notice is also required for month-to-month renters, and week-to-week tenants must get at least 30 days written notice.
The county has spent $200 million to keep residents housed, McCurdy says. "That is not a sustainable method."
"Clark County residents, some who grew up in our community, are being forced to move into weeklies and motels," he said. "I continue to read each and every email that comes in. I encourage those to continue to share your stories."
The reach out to McCurdy's office, email ccdistd@ClarkCountyNV.gov. He says to include your address in that email.
"We will continue to advocate for you for the better of our community," he concluded.
The contact information for all commissioners can be found on ClarkCountyNV.gov.