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Valley shortage of affordable homes being called a housing crisis

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Posted at 3:09 PM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 00:05:38-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — For many, mobile homes are an affordable option to home ownership in Nevada. However, they may be becoming another casualty to growth in the valley.

In 2019, there were more than 28,000 manufactured homes in Clark County. Nearly 500 of those units were gone by July of 2020. 13 Action News has a look at the struggle to find affordable housing in Las Vegas.

Digging deeper: What's driving up Vegas area home prices? What does it mean for those who live here?

"I lived here since 2000," said Anne Stevens.

She's lived at Desert Paradise Mobile Home Park on Las Vegas Boulevard, near Nellis Boulevard, for more than two decades. However, residents here recently learned that the park is closing. Now, Stevens is forced to look for a new home.

TIGHT BUDGET

"I'm on Social Security," Stevens said. "It doesn't give you much money to live on."

"Finding affordable housing for somebody who's on a fixed income, it's completely unrealistic," said her granddaughter, Alicia Collins. "There's nothing in the valley, really. And what is available is already taken."

She says her grandmother can only afford $500 to $700 a month for rent.

"All I want to do is help her," Collins said. "Then the more and more I get into what is actually happening, what's available, what services are available, what the processes are, it just is completely overwhelming."

For help, low-income renters can turn to the non-profit affordable housing development organization, Nevada HAND.

"I think it's fair to say that we have an affordable housing crisis," said Waldon Swenson with Nevada HAND.

NOT ENOUGH

He says it has 4,700 units of affordable housing, serving nearly 8,000 people across Southern Nevada. Plus, another 700 units under construction right now. However, it still isn't enough.

"The reality is that we have thousands of people on our wait list," Swenson said. "Unfortunately, a lot of times people are waiting for upwards of a year before housing becomes available."

So, what can people do to avoid being homeless? 13 Action News turned to Clark County Commissioner, Marilyn Kirkpatrick, for answers.

"They can absolutely call my office," Kirkpatrick said. "We'll do everything that we can to get them into something."

She says Social Services can provide funding to cover first and last month's rent, plus a deposit toward a new place.

"For those that really can't get anywhere, we're working to have some temporary housing for them until we can get them into more of a stable environment," Kirkpatrick said.

COUNTY INVESTING

In the long term, she says Clark County has invested $165 million into housing, but it will take time to become available.

As for Stevens, she has family who will make sure she isn't homeless. Her granddaughter says she's afraid for all seniors living in mobile home parks, who don't have the same help.

"I want to know why there's not more help for the seniors. Holding their hands through this process. For the people who don't have somebody," Collins said. "It's just completely devastating that this is happening to so many people."

See Nevada 211 for more help on housing and rental assistance.