Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), along with U.S. Representatives Dina Titus (D-Nev.-01), Steven Horsford (D-Nev.-04) and Susie Lee (D-Nev.-03), sent a letter from the Democratic members of Nevada’s Congressional delegation expressing concerns about the closure of the Reno field office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and calling for increased staffing of the Las Vegas office in response. HUD began scaling down its Reno office before announcing its closure in November, and the Department has not taken steps to increase its presence in the Silver State, which is facing one of the worst affordable housing shortages in the country.
“We appreciate HUD staff’s acknowledgement that Nevada has an affordable housing crisis and that HUD will add staff to replace the lost positions. While closure of the Reno office is not ideal, we can accept it only with assurances that HUD maintains the staff necessary to manage the entire state,” the members of Congress wrote.
A full copy of the letter can be found HERE and below:
Dear Secretary Carson:
We write to request that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) hire four full-time equivalent employees by the end of the First Quarter of FY20 to replace the positions lost due to the decision to close our field office in Reno, Nevada and serve our growing population. While the announcement to close the Reno office occurred on November 26, 2019, HUD functionally closed the office months ago by allowing all of its staff to relocate or retire without replacing them. HUD justified its decision to close the Reno Field Office based on the office’s unoccupied status pursuant to the Federal Property Management Reform Act of 2016; however, it is clear to us that the closure was in response to HUD not filling key positions.
We appreciate HUD staff’s acknowledgement that Nevada has an affordable housing crisis and that HUD will add staff to replace the lost positions. While closure of the Reno office is not ideal, we can accept it only with assurances that HUD maintains the staff necessary to manage the entire state. The current practice of requiring the head of the Las Vegas HUD field office to travel once a month or more is inadequate to serve a rapidly-growing northern Nevada facing affordable housing challenges. We request HUD hire two staffers for field policy and management; a staffer for public housing; and a staffer for community planning and development to offset the loss of Reno staff and to ensure proper management and access to HUD programs for our state.
Nevadans rely on HUD programs to help us meet our housing and community development needs. We thank you in advance for working with us to protect access to HUD’s programs and services for all Nevadans. We look forward to hearing back from you by February 14, 2020.