Defining Our Affordable Housing Needs
We strive to provide clarity to the term “Affordable Housing” and to identify the growing need for affordable housing inventory throughout our rural communities. This endeavor is designed to facilitate and support the production of affordable housing stock in all rural areas throughout our State.
At NRHA, we believe in providing affordable housing opportunities for all rural Nevadans. “Affordable Housing” is defined by the Federal Government in terms of financial burden: “Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing (including the cost of their utilities) are considered to be “overburdened” from a cost perspective, and accordingly these households may have difficulty affording other necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care.”
In the fall of 2014, we began the task of identifying our Affordable Housing needs by first identifying the overburdened household populations throughout the rural areas of our State, compiling three totally independent housing studies. These studies concentrated on eleven “Rural Counties,” the “Carson City Area” (including Carson City and eight neighboring communities), and the high growth job market situated in “Northern Nevada” in connection with the Tahoe/Reno Industrial Center located in northern Storey County. Each study assessed the population, economic conditions, household size, income and age factors, availability of community infrastructure and public services, existing housing conditions, home sales and area rental values, local projected housing costs focused on the production of new quality affordable housing products, and the projected affordable housing demand concerns for each housing market identified. This data is intended to begin important dialogue between counties and partners.
This momentum in using data to help community planning started back in 2005 with NRHA’s first housing study. Today, counties are using the data in impactful ways, and it doesn’t cost them anything. And while NRHA has borne the entire cost of the production of these housing studies, in an effort to support the development of workforce and affordable housing throughout the rural areas of the state, we look forward to others participating in this endeavor with us in the future.