Chamber luncheon to discuss affordable housing in Carson City

Valley Springs affordable apartment units opened on Hot Springs Road in August 2019. (Photo: Ronni Hannaman)

Valley Springs affordable apartment units opened on Hot Springs Road in August 2019. (Photo: Ronni Hannaman)

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The housing market continues to experience ups and downs and right now we are very much in the up market. While good for existing homeowners who have or are planning to sell, top dollar can just about be assured.
For those seeking a home and not coming in with buckets of cash from California, the up market can be a challenge in terms of finding affordable housing, though the term “affordable” can mean many things depending on your earnings or from where you may be relocating.
Affordable to a Californian coming in from the coast, affordable is perhaps $500,000 to $800,000 in Carson City. And, there are a number of new builds available in that price range. For those households with two earners making a more moderate income, the under $400,000 (still a lot of money) could be considered within range for what could be termed as “workforce housing.” Although that too is misleading, for the workforce comprises a huge spectrum from earning minimum wage to executive salaries.
Then there is the low-income market that may never be able to afford home ownership these days unless they qualify for some of the incentives available through Nevada Rural Housing Authority.
As was the case in the early 2000s, Northern Nevada is again seeing a housing boom whereby builders cannot keep up with the demand for new single-family residences for sale.
The apartment market, too, is booming. Apartment builders can’t build new units quickly enough in a market where there was almost no vacancy prior to the population surge.
Because supply and demand dictates housing costs, those in the lower income brackets find themselves in a quandary when trying to find an affordable or low income unit to purchase or rent. Even the once affordable apartments have raised rates to meet the demand and to be in line with the newer units that may have cost much more to build and offer many amenities. Rents on older, once affordable units have been raised to the point the renter must decrease spending on other necessities.
The conundrum of affordable housing started in the 1950s and continues to be a nationwide, state and local issue that, in many cases, seems unsolvable.
In the 2012 study commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation, “History Lessons for Today’s Housing Policy,” written and researched by Alexander von Hoffman, it is written “In recent American history, four crises related to housing led the United States government to initiate large-scale housing programs for low-and moderate-income Americans.” Three presidents: Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon tackled the housing issue by enacting public housing programs to include the building of public housing, the G.I. Bill, and the Section 8 voucher program.
The issue of affordable housing is a complex one and will be addressed at the Carson City Soup’s On luncheon to be held at the Gold Dust West on Tuesday, Nov. 16 beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Presenting insight into current local housing opportunities and trends will be Elizabeth Fadali, Economist III, from The State of Nevada Housing Division. Mishon Hurst, Deputy Director of Nevada Rural Housing Authority, will explain the programs available to assist low and moderate income clients to be able to attain homeownership. Aaron West, Executive Director of the Nevada Builder’s Association, will present the challenges faced by builders in this market when costs are high and workers scarce.
Cost for lunch is $25 per person and must be paid in advance. Seating is limited and current state and local COVID restrictions will apply. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Chamber at 882-1565.
No walk-ins please due to seating limitation.


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