Housing Crunch Strains Aid Resources in Reno - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Housing Crunch Strains Aid Resources in Reno

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Developers demolished the Carriage Inn in Downtown Reno Friday, as part of a movement to build new projects and a cleaner downtown core. But as more of these blighted motels come down, some of the lowest income residents in the area get displaced. And they're facing a major shortage in affordable housing.

The Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency estimates that just one percent of the housing in the area is vacant, and much of that does not fall in the affordable range. Over the last 15 years or so, housing costs in the Truckee Meadows have gone up more than 60 percent, but wages have only gone up about 17 percent.

The market has left a lot of people looking for help, and in Reno, that help comes from the Reno Housing Authority.

"We have over 7,000 households on our waiting list applying for Section 8 housing, project-based vouchers," Reno Housing Authority Deputy Executive Director Mishon Hurst said, "and our funding does not meet the demand, unfortunately."

The waiting list is so long that the RHA actually had to close it months ago. RHA offers vouchers to help people pay rent and some lower cost public housing, for those who make it to the front of the line.

But their federal funding is getting cut, and the number of people who need help is growing. So now they're appealing to landlords to stop raising rents.

"Property owners who have properties, keeping the rents reasonable for locals in this area is immensely helpful," Hurst said, "and keeping those units on the market at a reasonable rate."

The full interview airs on Face the State over the weekend. This episode airs Saturday at 4:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and Sunday at 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Episodes are also posted here after they air.

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