Gov. Steve Sisolak discusses needs for more affordable housing with local community leaders.
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Gov. Steve Sisolak began his visit by touring one of the units at the Vintage at Sanctuary affordable housing apartment complex before sitting down with local leaders in the affordable housing industry.
“For too many right now homeownership feels out of reach, and rental prices are rising so fast, it makes it harder for people to get ahead, to be able to afford to pay rent and be in a place that they feel safe and they feel secure and they feel comfortable,” Sisolak said.
In efforts to mitigate the ongoing affordable housing issue, Sisolak announced at his recent State of the State address, the “Home Means Nevada” initiative that promises to pledge $500 million to the cause.
The funds from Home means Nevada are to be obligated by 2024 and used by 2026, meaning the creation of more affordable housing is coming quickly.
In conjunction with the work and funding already happening on the local level, like Reno City Council’s approval of $9 million for two new affordable housing projects.
During the roundtable, leaders got to meet someone who is already benefitting from the affordable housing initiatives.
“When you’re down and out and something like that happens - I was labeled with PTSD - I think I’ll fight it now that I have a nice warm place to sleep,” said 75-year-old, Marlene O’Neill, resident of Vintage at Sanctuary.
O’Neill lost her home after being displaced by the Caldor Fire in August 2021, but found a home in Reno after help from her daughter who got her in contact with a local affordable housing organization.
“You should have seen me between August and January, I wasn’t the same person,” said O’Neill.
“When you get to talk to the individuals and see how this is going to impact a life, I mean, these are life-changing things that are happening here and I’m thankful for the residents of Nevada for supporting this because they’re making it possible for people to have a safe and secure place,” said Sisolak.
Throughout the discussion, Sisolak emphasized the importance of a team effort - from the legislators to developers, and local organizations - thanking the group for their work so far.
“I can’t even keep up with all the announcements for affordable housing right now, it’s awesome and I’m really proud to be here and be a part of it,” said Christine Hess, executive director for the Nevada Housing Coalition.
“I’m living proof that you can get to somewhere where you’re safe and comfortable, you just have to keep going,"-Marlene O’Neill, resident of Vintage at Sanctuary.