For immediate Release: February 16, 2022

Contact: 

Hector Fong Jr. | 702-505-6748 | hfong@planevada.org

Jackie Chiakulas | 702-556-8705 | jchiakulas@planevada.org

 

NEVADA HOUSING JUSTICE ALLIANCE: SISOLAK’S HISTORIC HOUSING INVESTMENT IS A DOWNPAYMENT

 

Systemic issues including price gouging and no-cause evictions must also be addressed to end the ongoing housing crisis 

 

Las Vegas, NV – Today Governor Steve Sisolak announced an historic $300 million investment in affordable housing to address Nevada’s on-going housing crisis, fueled by the coronavirus pandemic. The Nevada Housing Justice Alliance (NHJA) is a coalition of grassroot organizers and community advocates who work with Nevada tenants to develop solutions and advocate for community investments that solve the root causes of housing insecurity.

 

Members of the Nevada Housing Justice Alliance coalition released the following statements:

 

“Investing in affordable housing is an important piece of the puzzle, but if the state of Nevada is sincere about helping community members struggling with housing insecurity, we must also take a serious look at eviction processes, tenants’ rights, price gouging, and housing discrimination. We look forward to working with lawmakers to make sure this state gets serious about housing justice,” said Lily Baran of the ACLU of Nevada. 

 

“Our affordable housing waitlist is years long and we’re glad that Governor Sisolak took meaningful action to address Nevada’s shortcomings,” said Christine Saunders of Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. “But make no mistake, this will benefit developers just as much if not more than tenants in desperate need of affordable homes. We need Governor Sisolak to take meaningful action to also protect tenants who do not qualify for affordable housing, but still deserve a place to call home. We agree with Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick that the actions of property managers and apartment associations makes rent control look more and more like a viable option for Nevada.”

 

“Housing is the most central and universal need for every single Nevadan. The limited supply of affordable housing stock along with the lop-sided power dynamics in our state has kept stable, affordable housing out of reach for many of the families we work alongside at Make It Work Nevada,” said Quentin Savwoir of Make It Work Nevada. “We’re pleased that Gov. Sisolak is making this historic investment in affordable housing. We’re hopeful this investment yields outcomes that keep our families safe, secure and stable in their homes. Further, we look forward to working with the Governor in order to strengthen tenant’s rights – as that, too, is a central component in creating greater access to affordable housing in Nevada.”

 

“We are happy to see a step in the right direction by Governor Sisolak to address the critical housing issue Nevada has been facing for quite some time,” said Annette Magnus, Executive Director of Battle Born Progress. “As Clark County Commissioner William McCurdy mentioned during yesterday’s Clark County Commission meeting, people are desperate and we need bold statewide solutions immediately because Nevadans are suffering. People continue to lose their homes, rent is out of control, and we cannot stand idly by as fellow Nevadans beg for help. We thank all of the people who have been advocating for housing solutions and look forward to ensuring people get the help they need.”

 

“This historic investment in affordable housing will go a long way to helping so many individuals at risk of homelessness but also creates much needed inventory to get individuals experiencing chronic homelessness into supportive housing and connecting them to the resources and services they need. This down payment is just the first step and we hope the legislature will also come to the table to address the systemic challenges to affordable housing in our state,” said Nathaniel Waugh, Manager of Policy, Advocacy and Training, Nevada Homeless Alliance.

 

“This historic investment in affordable housing is a step in the right direction and this will bring peace of mind to many struggling families in Nevada. In addition to investments for affordable housing, Nevada’s tenants need rent control to maintain a roof over their families head, to recover and thrive with dignity. Make the Road Nevada has worked with many directly impacted families that are victims of our broken housing system and we ask that leaders in our community take the necessary steps to allow our community to live with dignity, After all, housing is a human right! “ said Leo Murrieta with Make the Road Nevada

 

“All Nevadans deserve a safe, secure, and affordable home. This is a much-needed investment to continue addressing our severe affordable housing shortage. But there is still much work to be done,” said Benjamin Challinor, Policy Director of Faith in Action Nevada. “With rental rates increasing at a rate of 20% or higher, we need stronger tenant protections in place in Nevada, and this includes rent stabilization. We cannot let Nevadans be priced out of their homes. We urge the Governor, Legislative Leadership, and local government to make this a priority.”

 

“Access to affordable housing plays a key role in the health outcomes of our communities, particularly members of the Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and communities of color and those with low-incomes. The Governor’s investment in affordable housing today, while commendable, is just the first step toward more equitable housing for the health and safety of Nevadans as we continue to navigate the pandemic. We look forward to continuing this dialogue and improving living conditions for Nevadans.” said Briana Escamilla, Regional Organizing Director, Planned Parenthood Votes Nevada

 

“We were glad to see today’s announcement from Governor Sisolak and the Nevada Housing Division regarding this historic $300 million dollar investment in affordable housing” said Gariety Pruitt, State Director of For Our Future Nevada. “We hope this is a first step taken to address our state’s current housing crisis. We look forward to continued work with Nevada’s decision makers as they allocate other Federal relief funds from the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that are providing a once-in-a-generation influx of funding that can also be used to address Nevada’s housing crisis and level the playing field for Nevadans seeking safe, affordable housing. We are counting on the Sisolak Administration and other decision makers to ensure this funding is used to keep working families housed as we emerge from the pandemic.” 

 

“With this announcement it is imperative to recognize these investments will not be enough to move our state forward from the crisis at hand. While we appreciate action being taken to mitigate the harms already done, it is clear our current standards of ‘affordable’ are anything but affordable to working-class people in Nevada.” said Angel Lazcano, Las Vegas Democratic Socialists of America Steering Committee Member. “Having spent the last several months talking to tenants who are bearing the brunt of our housing crisis, we know far too well that we need more proactive measures to address the injustices happening across the valley. It will take much more action by the state to keep single mothers with chronically sick children housed, to keep defenseless elders on fixed income facing a $300 – $500 rent hike housed, and to give a fighting chance to tenants facing constant harassment from exploitative landlords and property managers. Now is the time to consider measures which will flip the power disparities between slumlords and tenants, such as rent control, right to counsel, waiving eviction-related filing costs, introducing some means of relocation assistance, and making social housing acquisition feasible in the state of Nevada. We cannot let Nevadans suffer any longer; housing is a human right.”

 

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About Nevada Housing Justice Alliance (NHJA):

ACLU of Nevada, Battle Born Progress, Culinary Union, Las Vegas Democratic Socialists of America, Faith in Action Nevada, For Our Future Nevada, Make It Work Nevada, Make the Road Nevada, Nevada Homeless Alliance, Planned Parenthood Votes Nevada, and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

 

The Nevada Housing Justice Alliance coalition’s goal is to build grassroots power to change policy that provides greater housing protections for all Nevadans.