April 21, 2017

Cortez Masto Hosts Housing Affordability Roundtable, Highlights Commitment to Protecting Funding for Affordable Housing Programs

Last month, Cortez Masto’s office released report detailing impact of Trump Administration’s skinny budget on housing in Nevada

Reno, NV – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today hosted a roundtable in Reno to discuss opportunities and challenges in addressing the shortage of affordable housing across Northern Nevada. Cortez Masto spoke with representatives from local housing advocacy groups, private businesses, and local and national government programs involved in Northern Nevada housing issues about their priorities and how she can best serve them in the U.S. Senate.

“Nevada was ground zero for the housing crisis and we are still recovering from the recession, despite making significant progress,” said Cortez Masto. “Our rebound has been possible because of important federal and state programs, as well as local leaders like those I spoke with today.  While this new Administration has not demonstrated a commitment to important rental housing or homeownership issues, here in Nevada, we are committed to working together across all sectors to ensure families have safe, decent and affordable places to live.

“As one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, Northern Nevada faces unique challenges in housing affordability. There is a shortage of about 85,000 affordable housing units for extremely low-income Nevada families and average home prices in the Reno metro area far surpass what is affordable for an individual earning Reno’s median household income. By investing in critical community development and housing programs that serve urban, suburban and rural areas, we can help Nevada families, create jobs and make our neighborhoods attractive places for new businesses.

“It is extremely concerning that President Trump’s proposed skinny budget will cut the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) budget by $7.5 billion and eliminate funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) grants, which help countless Americans get access to small business credit and gain financial literacy. Protecting homeowners and consumers is a top priority for me as I begin my term in the Senate.”

“Northern Nevada has an incredible opportunity to grow within the commercial and residential real-estate sectors with greater diversification in our employment base and ultimately higher wage jobs. But we must bring all stakeholders to the table in order to take full advantage of this tremendous opportunity,” said Ken Krater, Director of Reno’s ‘Operation Downtown,’ a coalition of over 60 nonprofit, private, and government industry stakeholders. “We are thankful that Senator Cortez Masto is taking the time to meet with affordable housing advocates and for her committing to protect the federal funding our programs rely on. Her support is a vital asset in our fight to prevent Nevadans from being pushed out of their homes and communities by rising rent.”

Participants discussed the devastating impact the Trump Administration’s proposed budget would have on affordable housing in Nevada, which Cortez Masto’s office outlined in a report released last month.

Attending the roundtable were representatives from the City of Reno, City of Sparks, Washoe County, Washoe County Sheriff’s Department, HUD Reno Field Office, USDA Rural Development, Reno Housing Authority, Nevada Rural Housing Authority, Builders Association of Nevada, Northern Nevada Development Authority, Nevada Housing Division, Nevada Youth Empowerment Project, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities, Reno City Manager’s Office, Silver Sage Manor, Ridge House, Charles Schwab Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Volunteers of America, Nevada Youth Empowerment Project, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Praxis Consulting Group, VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, HUD’s VASH Program, and Renown Child Health Institute.