affordable housing | KUNR

affordable housing

Senator Ratti is wearing a blue mask, black jacket and gray pants. She is walking down a hallway. There is a wall to her right lined with framed photos.
Paul Boger / KUNR Public Radio

As many as one in four Nevadans could be on Medicaid by the end of fiscal year 2023, according to an analysis by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. That’s forcing state lawmakers to navigate the muddled waters of creating long-term policy during a crisis. KUNR’s Paul Boger spoke with Sen. Julia Ratti, a Democrat who represents the heart of both Sparks and Reno, about some of those issues facing the state.

Two stacks of paper booklets on a desk.
David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

Week six of the 2021 Nevada Legislature has come and gone, leaving lawmakers with the first major deadline of the session. KUNR’s political editor Paul Boger spoke with Morning Edition host Noah Glick to share what that means.

A graphic of the Market Monitor dashboard. The monitor provides information like the median price for an existing home, the number of units sold and the number of new listings. A photo of the Reno skyline at dusk is included as the graphic's background.
Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors

Nevada’s economy has struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic. Many small businesses are just scraping by. But the housing market? That’s a different story. For the first time, the median price of an existing, single-family home in Reno has reached $500,000. To better understand what’s going on, KUNR’s Paul Boger reached out to Gary MacDonald with the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

A surge of out-of-staters are fleeing major cities and purchasing homes in Montana, Wyoming and other parts of the Mountain West, according to real estate agents.

 

"These out-of-state buyers are just coming in droves," said D.J. Smith, president of the Missoula Organization of Realtors. 

Everyone knows that living in the Rockies can get expensive. Headwaters Economics wanted to know why. The non-profit published new research this week that examines what causes housing to become so expensive in places where outdoor recreation is a main economic driver.

Empty apartment. Vacuum sits in the far room.
Patrick Maloney / Flickr Creative Commons

Housing prices have been rising for years in the Truckee Meadows. And as the pandemic touches nearly every aspect of life as we know it, it’s also affecting rental prices. KUNR’s Bree Zender spoke with Susy Vasquez, the executive director of the Nevada State Apartment Association, which represents rental property owners in the state.

A pink building with the word office on top of it. In the background are motel rooms and a staircase.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR

Hundreds of thousands of Nevadans have lost their jobs due to nonessential business closures meant to limit the spread of COVID-19. To protect them from housing insecurity, Governor Steve Sisolak ordered a moratorium on evictions, but there’s confusion on who is protected. Both tenants and landlords for weekly motels are concerned about what the future holds.

Green monopoly houses sit in a row against a stark, white background.
woodleywonderworks / Flickr Creative Commons

Like the rest of the country, Nevada is seeing a record-breaking spike in unemployment claims. In response, Governor Steve Sisolak placed a moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. KUNR’s Paul Boger reached out to Rita Greggio, a lawyer with Washoe Legal Services, a nonprofit legal aid organization, to talk about what the governor’s directive means.

A man speaks at a podium.
Rachel Aston / Las Vegas Review-Journal

During an online press conference Sunday afternoon, Governor Steve Sisolak announced a statewide residential and commercial eviction moratorium. 

 

The United States added more than 200,000 jobs last month, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While wages and jobs are growing in the Mountain West, they aren’t outpacing the skyrocketing cost of housing. 

Picture Collage of Mid-Century Motels
Courtesy UNR Special Collections, Jerry Stefani, and Mike Roberts

Reno is home to a collection of quirky, mid-century motels. Some have fallen into disrepair, some serve as low-income housing and some are being torn down for new developments. But if you were to drive through Reno during the middle of the 20th century, you would have seen a booming motel landscape, when motels were icons of the vibrant tourism industry.

The Eddy House in Reno
Anh Gray

The Eddy House in downtown Reno is a drop-in center that helps homeless and at-risk youth in Northern Nevada. The organization recently announced plans to open a new 24-hour facility this fall. KUNR’s Anh Gray has more.

Illustrated by Stephanie Serrano

With high housing prices in Northern Nevada, Reno is seeing community members choosing to stay in motels as long-term residents. The city created a motel inspection program late last year and the team recently conducted its first inspection. KUNR’s Michelle Billman sat down with our reporters Stephanie Serrano and Krysta Scripter to learn more.

The Nevada County Health Rankings Report was recently released. Washoe County came in sixth place in the state for overall health, a jump from the previous year. KUNR’s Anh Gray reports that affordable housing, access to mental health care and substance abuse are still big issues.

Reno Program Catches Families Teetering Near Homelessness

Nov 20, 2018
Holly Hutchings

For some, an unexpected family emergency is all it takes to eat up the rent budget, pushing these families close to homelessness. A program from the Reno Housing Authority is meant to catch them before they get there. KUNR’s Holly Hutchings has more.

A woman and a small dog sit on a bed inside a motel.
Our Town Reno

60-year-old Joyce Cowdin lives at the El Tavern Motel in Reno. She used to work but is now in poor health, so her budget is tight. While some of the local motels have issues with drugs, crime, and bug infestations, they offer affordable housing for families, seniors and the working poor. In this audio postcard, Cowdin describes her living situation and says the motels are a safety net for many low income residents. 

Kaleb Roedel

200 new affordable dorm-style units will be opening in Reno this fall. Our contributor, Kaleb Roedel with the Northern Nevada Business View has the details.

Local Activists Working To Save Weekly Motels

Sep 7, 2018
The entrance to a weekly motel in Reno.
Google Maps (June 2017)

Local activists and leaders are coming together to bring weekly motels to the forefront of Reno's housing debate. KUNR’s Paolo Zialcita reports. 

Google Maps (June 2017)

There are more than 100 motels in Reno alone. For some, they’re links to the city’s unique past as a gaming mecca. Others see them as hotbeds of criminal activity that bring down the surrounding area’s economic potential. But as Reno Public Radio’s Paul Boger reports, the motels are increasingly becoming a key player in Northern Nevada’s housing crunch.

The recent rise in housing costs is lucrative for those who rent or sell homes in Northern Nevada. But for other residents, the threads of stability are breaking. KUNR's Bree Zender spoke with a math teacher who says she won't be able to afford to live here comfortably any longer. 

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