WNDD distributes housing funds

From helping first-time home buyers with a down payment to fixing apartment buildings to providing rental assistance to seniors, the Western Nevada HOME Consortium is putting money into the hands of Western Nevada residents.

The 10-member consortium meets today to send over $887,000 in affordable housing funds into the region.

Projects seeking funding include:

n $300,000 for the Lake Vista Apartments in Lake Tahoe

n $125,000 for the Nevada Rural Housing Authority's rental assistance program

n $80,000 for a Carson City home rehabilitation

n $77,850 for A Citizen's For Affordable Homes project in Dayton

Carson City officials had considered leaving the consortium on the notion they could get home improvement dollars on their own. However, with Carson gone, the consortium would not exist, said Mary Lou Bentley, Western Nevada Development District executive director. The consortium is operated through the district.

"If (Carson) were to step out of the coalition, you maybe be able to receive some dollars directly, but your neighbors will not," Bentley told city supervisors recently. "Without Carson City in the consortium we wouldn't qualify (for some federal money,) and dollars that we qualify for we wouldn't get."

Supervisors recently signed on for another three years with the consortium, which has poured almost $639,000 into Carson City affordable housing in the last three years.

"I was concerned if we were getting the maximum benefit for our residents," said Supervisor Robin Williamson, who serves on the consortium board. "It turns out I think we are."

A few years ago, Carson City turned down the payment assistance program, which gives applicants a loan up to $10,000 that is repaid only when the home owner moves over to the consortium. The consortium boasts over $507,000 this year for down payment assistance in the region -- the most demanded funding from the consortium, said Diane Pettitt, District housing specialist. Around 30 Carson City residents have received down payments, totaling more than $335,000 to Carson first-time home buyers.

"(The consortium) assists the elderly and low-income in all these communities who otherwise might not be able to have a certain standard of living," Pettitt said.

The district and the HOME consortium serve Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing and Storey counties, and the cities of Fallon, Yerington and Lovelock.

If you go:

What: Western Nevada Home Consortium

When: 9 a.m., today

Where: Western Nevada Development District Conference Room, 3208 Goni Road, St. 183.


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