IFC approves half-million for program to help state’s housing market recover

Investment in a multi-million dollar program designed to stabilize and rejuvenate Nevada’s housing markets, began Friday with the Interim Finance Committee’s approval of $498,295 to create a database.The program for underwater and foreclosed homeowners — dubbed the Nevada Home Retention Program — will be paid for by the $57 million Nevada received from the National Housing Settlement and the state’s own $30 million settlement with Bank of America over handling of the housing crisis over the past six years.In addition to the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Business and Industry and the governor’s office are behind the effort, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said.Other parts of the program — including an outreach program to inform people who need services that they can get them — was rolled out a couple of weeks ago in Las Vegas and this past week in Northern Nevada.The database approved Friday will create a statewide index of month-to-month data on Nevada’s housing market designed to tell officials, as well as those in the industry, whether the housing market is recovering and what is happening in different parts of Nevada.“I think the data would be quite vital to making decisions,” said Assemblyman Paul Anderson, R-Las Vegas.The panel consisting of the Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees was told that, while there is pretty good data on Clark County and some data from Washoe’s Realtors, very little solid information is available for the rest of the state.B&I Director Bruce Breslow said the problem is that Nevada is not really having a housing recovery.“While prices are rising, they are doing it artificially,” he said.Breslow said supply is driving up prices. He said the danger is that the “shadow market” of homes that may be out there.“If the full 52,000 hit the market in a giant, ‘Here they are,’ it’ll crash our market back another two to five years,” he said.He said the funding for the database “gets the program up and running.”“We really need data not just for Clark County, not just for Washoe County, but the rural areas of our state that are impacted.”Former Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, an economist with the Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies at UNLV, said the goal is to “create a database that has everything in it to analyze the market.”The committee approved the program to move forward immediately.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment